*I read this in June 2017, and reviewed it then. I read it as a hardcover, and apparently never reviewed The Crown’s Game, so I can’t link to that. As always, my review is my honest opinion.
Having read The Crown’s Game forever long ago, it comes to no surprise that I didn’t remember much of it. I remember enjoying and reading through it quickly.
You know the drill. Spoilers for book one below.
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.
I read this pretty quickly and honestly, it doesn’t feel like it’s 417 pages. Skye writes in such a way that you don’t notice that you’re passing the pages as quickly as you are.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s a lot of action in this novel, because although the pacing is fine, there weren’t all that many scenes that got my heart racing. The end sort of did, but even then, I felt like it was magically fixed and honestly, I wasn’t too into the character’s relationships.
It’s odd, I finished this book and gave it 4 stars, but as I’m analyzing for this review, I’m leaning toward 3.5 or even 3. This book is okay, but it isn’t spectacular. It doesn’t have the same feel as the first one, and the magic is severeal limited. Part of what I loved about book one was the conflicted relationship between Vika and Nikolai and how it was expressed through their magic. Their relationship is still conflicted, but it was never shown through their magic, and it was pretty passive.
I think that’s what I don’t like about this book. As the story progressed, it seemed like the scenes were repeating, with Vika fearing the same things, Pasha being unsure of himself, and Nikolai being his dead self, over and over as the story progresses, but nothing changes until the last 30 pages. The story didn’t move on from that.
The Crown’s Fate is an enjoyable ride, but there’s not much more substance aside from that.