Paperback ARC, 420
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Pub. Date: May 16th, 2017
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.
Note: If you're reading the ARC, there is a plot mistake on pg. 333 that the publisher and author are aware of. It will be fixed in the final version of The Crown's Fate.
For those of you who would prefer, here is my video review of The Crown's Fate:
For everyone else, read on! :)
Going into this book, I thought I was relatively prepared for what was to unfold. I was expecting beautiful displays of magic, some angst, more romance, and tons of feels. BUT what I wasn't at all prepared for was all the action, as well as how utterly dark this book gets. To all of those people who said they wanted more action from The Crown's Game, you get your wish in this sequel! Also, tears. You get lots of those too. Overall, just know that Evelyn has stepped up her game, so prepare to be wowed.
1) There is so much action in The Crown's Fate—I wasn't expecting it at all. I knew there would be fantastical displays of magic, but I wasn't prepared for an all out war. The way that these scenes were executed made me ever more impressed with Evelyn, if that is even possible. She is so incredibly talented—I am in awe. Her writing has grown and improved so much since the first book that she has simply outdone herself.
2) I love how many aspects of actual Russian history are tied so seamlessly into the story. It's done so well that it makes me want to brush up on my Russian history, which my mother will be absolutely thrilled about xD. I have never been a big fan of history in general, but it's books like these that make me want to turn on the History Channel and watch some documentaries.
3) Once again, I have to praise Evelyn on how well she depicts Russian culture, mindset, and language. Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but for me—it's perfect, and it makes me feel at home. Her knowledge on this subject never ceases to amaze me. Fair warning though . . . this book will make you so freaking hungry. I'm so happy that some of the food that was mentioned was already in my fridge or I really would have been suffering.
4) I am shameless in admitting that I squealed at the mention of Baba Yaga and Vodyanoy—two classic Russian mythological creatures. It instantly brought back memories of watching and listening to all of my favorite Russian cartoons. In fact, after reading The Crown's Fate, I rewatched one of my favorite Russian cartoons (called The Flying Ship) that feature both Vodyanoy and Baba Yaga.
5) Vika and Nikolai are fire! My god, they are just as swoony as they were in The Crown's Game! Even during the rough patches, I just wanted to squish both of them. One of my absolute favorite scenes in The Crown's Game is the ballroom scene. Thankfully, we get something very similar to that in this book! It's so beautiful, while also being heart-wrenchingly bittersweet—I just loved it so much.
6) One could argue that this book is centered around Pasha and Nikolai's relationship, but in my opinion, it's just as focused (or even more so) on the females in this story. We get a closer look at Yuliana and Aizhana, two characters that I was sure were going to stay in the background, but I was totally wrong. I really enjoyed getting to know more about them—especially Yuliana. She's still a bitch in this book, but we get to see that everything she does is because of how much she adores both her brother and Russia, which I can't exactly fault her for.
7) I knew we were getting Nikolai back. I mean, it's right there in The Crown's Fate synopsis for all to see. However, I didn't know how we were getting him back, and holy shit, guys. I never in a million years would have guessed the direction that Evelyn was going to take this in, and it was brilliant. That's all I'm going to say on this because I want you all to go in blind (like I did) and to have your heart strings tied up in knots! *evil cackle*
"I am Nikolai's mother."
"Hm. Well, he certainly didn't get his looks from you, did he?"
Aizhana bristled, but she wouldn't take the bait. Galina was trying to distract her from her purpose. "When Nikolai came to you today, asking for a place to stay, you tossed him onto the street without remorse."
Galina set her hands on her hips. "And that, you believe, is an offense that merits my death?"
"He had nowhere else to go."
"Nikolai is resourceful."
"You are heartless."
Galina sneered and looked pointedly at Aizhana's chest. "I would wager you are, too. Quite literally."
That's all I'm sharing for now ;)
If you haven't already, check out my review of The Crown's Game!
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