Well, it looks like I’ll unhaul this series now that I’ve finished. Sadly, I thought the second and final book would redeem the series, but that wasn’t the case.
Title: The Crown’s Fate (The Crown’s Game #2)
Author: Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, fantasy
Length: 425 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.”
Well, I’m not really sure what I was expecting from this book since I didn’t care much for the first. To be honest I felt a bit…disconnected from the characters, like we were still skimming the surface of who these characters could really be. But we never reached the destination unfortunately.
I thought Nikolai was completely out of character. He suddenly become vengeful, and it felt out of place, not right at all. He was soft and gentle in the first book and now he suddenly has a grudge against the world? I really struggled to understand his mother and Nikolai trying to justify his feelings for her. He didn’t have to do that and it was like grasping at straws.
You know who I really would have liked to know more about? Pasha’s sister, Yuliana. She came off as an extremely confidant yet often cocky younger sister but she also had brains and bran to do what needed to be done where Pasha failed. Pasha wasn’t much of a ruler anyway. He didn’t feel bold or charismatic enough in the same way Nikolai seemed TOO MUCH.
Also, we have this ginormous revelation of Vika’s parentage in the previous book and we don’t get any follow through. We’re just…left there…going, “Oh, that’s cool! Hope we see more of it.” Sadly, nope.
This sequel was limp and lifeless. I’m just glad the narrator was Steve West because I would have DNFed this book a while back if it were anyone else.