02 June 2016
The Crown's Game
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
There's no escaping death. Either I'll be defeated and therefore die, or I'll triumph but live with the guilt of sentencing the girl to her end. There is no such thing as a winner in the game.
In another world, The Crown's Game could have been a classic story of star crossed lovers. After all, Nikolai and Vika are doomed from birth when they are both born with magical powers in Russia. Only one enchanter can live, and when one than one exists as once, The Crown's Game is played to determine who will become the Imperial Enchanter and who will die.
The problem inherit to this plot is that there is absolutely no chemistry between Vika and Nikolai to speak of. As Nikolai points out, yes they may understand each other because they are both enchanters... but that's about it. We don't get enough depth into their characters to find any other traits that make them the ideal couple. To add insult to injury, there is a love triangle to be reckoned with as well, when Nikolai's best friend - who happens to be the crown prince - falls in love with Vika at first sight. That's right, even the other side of the love triangle doesn't have a leg to stand on either. Pasha spends his time trying to win over Vika unconvincingly, and Vika plays cold with both of them.
The world is such an awesome one full of magic and potential - the colored river, the painted streets, the magical box, the dress, the island, THE BENCHES. But the plot of the actual Crown's Game gets so convoluted in the love drama that the pace is too slow to really grasp readers. Instead of mercilessly trying to kill each other, they take weak-hearted stabs aimed to miss, while doing a little dance that isn't at all convincing. Maybe I'm missing the point and tone of this novel, but The Crown's Game disappointingly missed the mark for me.