The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye
Filled with darker writing and characters grappling with personal challenges, The Crown's Fate is a compelling sequel, it couldn't be otherwise with Evelyn Skye's gorgeous writing style, yet, it reads and feels much denser and thicker - with inner monologues taking precedence over the evanescent magic readers experienced in the first book, The Crown’s Game.
The Crown's Fate has been one of my highly anticipated reads this year after I was swept away with the world, magic, and characters of its predecessor, The Crown's Game. It's shocking ending left me needing answers.
With The Crown's Fate, readers once again return to a vividly re-imagined Imperial Russia where beauty and darkness surround us. Pasha, Vika, and Nikolai each face new challenges. Both on the personal and physical level.
If you have not read The Crown's Game and intend to, it's probably best to stop reading my review now, for there inevitably will be some spoilers!
An enchanted realm holds our beloved Nikolai trapped in neither a corporeal nor spirit form, but a whispered shadow of what he used to be. For all its beauty, something dark has found its way into the Dreamscape searching for Nikolai who is unaware of its presence until maybe it's too late. The changes to Nikolai's character completely took me by surprise and added complications all around to the story.
Vika, now as the new Imperial Enchanter, struggles between her love for Nikolai and her duty to Pasha. An enchanted bracelet ensures that she fulfills her duties to Pasha's demands but at what price? Her precarious predicament and personal dilemmas are tangible and we struggle with her every step of the way.
Pasha, after the ending of The Crown's Game, faces the consequences of it. With his upcoming coronation, his legitimacy to the crown is shaken by an unforeseen adversary and a dangerous revolution on the rise. Can he rise up to be the leader his people need while making changes they desperately are calling out for? I thought Pasha had some of the greatest growth in this story. From a spoiled and fee-spirited prince to a champion and leader of his people, though he faces many bumps and mistakes along the way, I liked the changes and the new depth to his character.
The magic and landscape are still irresistible in The Crown's Fate but I wanted so much more. I think part of the problem is, as new readers to Skye's writing, she spoiled us with her vivid world creating and magic in her first book. The Crown's Fate delivers but it feels sparse compared to the previous installment. With the focus now on each of the character's growth and inner struggles. St. Petersberg, the realm of the Dreamscape, and Imperial Russia's landscape all come to life touched by magic but I felt greedy and missed the grand illusions and camaraderie I was used to in The Crown's Game.
Friendship also plays a very important role in this story. The struggles one makes in order to keep it and the ones when it's threatened or nearly destroyed. Here, each character, Pasha, Nikolai, and Vika, all make mistakes and we see how the changes influence their relationships to one another. The effects that ripple through their lives, displaying new strengths, and weaknesses.
In the End
The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye is a darker and denser read-enriched by character growth and gorgeous writing while danger, twists, and Imperial Russia's magical landscape make for an overall satisfying sequel to read. There's plenty here to enjoy if you're patient enough to appreciate the depth of each characters growth minus some of the effervescent magic of its predecessor.
The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye
Series: Crown's Game
On Sale Date: May 16, 2017
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy & Magic
Hardcover, 432 pages
Balzer + Bray
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
The gorgeous and darkly compelling sequel to The Crown’s Game—perfect for fans of Red Queen and Shadow and Bone.
Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…
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.