Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Consult A Character, Issue #1: Nikolai Karimov (The Crown's Game)

Hey everyone! Welcome to the first edition of my new feature—Consult A Character—where your favorite fictional characters will be sharing their wise advice for your day to day problems and complaints!

Do you need some advice from a fictional character? Submit your questions to this Google Form or simply leave them in the comment section! The authors characters pick which questions from my list they want to answer for each feature, so if you do submit a question, be sure to check back and see if someone has responded to it!

Today, to start off this new feature AND to celebrate the paperback release of The Crown's Game is Nikolai Karimov from Evelyn's Skye's The Crown's Game to answer a few questions from concerned readers!


Age: 18
Hair: Brown-black
Eyes: Brown
Favorite Food: Whatever the cook is making that day
Favorite Color: Dark gray
Favorite Pastime: Tailoring clothes

Sharp. Elegant. And a touch morose.

An orphan from the Kazakh steppe, Nikolai Karimov has taught himself everything he needs to know to be a gentleman in St. Petersburg society: his French is impeccable, his dancing, superb, and his honor, irreproachable.

Nikolai is also wickedly good at manipulating mechanical things with his magic, although this talent, he keeps mostly to himself. Ordinary people wouldn’t understand.
Sometimes, being an enchanter is a very, very lonely thing.

Dear Nikolai,

I got a speeding ticket the other day but my friend always gets stopped and manages to talk her way out of it. What's your best advice for talking your way out of a speeding ticket?

Sincerely, Speedy

Dear Speedy,

My friend, Pasha, sounds a lot like your friendhe can charm anyone with half a smile. God only knows what happens when Pasha unleashes a full smile.

But for the rest of us, I think the best approach is being as polite and apologetic as possible. From my experience around nobility and other people in power, they like to feel like they are in charge. Then, if they decide to let you off from whatever it is you've done wrong, they feel proud of their magnanimity. Do I manipulate their desire for power and self-congratulation? I admit it. And yet it works, some of the time, and so I'll keep doing it. I hope that helps you a bit.


Dear Nikolai,

I want to invite my friend to prom but another guy invited her sooner and she agreed. I think she likes me better though and would prefer to go with me. Do you think I could still get her to go with me instead? I kind of want to do something dramatic. What should I do?

Sincerely, Slowpoke

Dear Slowpoke,

I fear you're vastly underestimating the strength of your love interest's conviction. You claim that she'd rather go with you, but you completely ignore the fact that she said Yes to someone else. I'm sorry to break it to you, but I think this is evidence enough that she is perfectly happy attending the prom with her date.

Of course, my experience stems mostly from Vika and Renata. Those two girls know what they want, and if a boy were to tell them they believed otherwise, he would justly deserve the tongue lashing (and in Vika's case, magical punishment) that he received.

I do suggest you respect your love interest's expressed desire to attend the prom with her current date. But do not despair
there will be other opportunities for you in the future. Just remember to be a little quicker on the draw the next time.

Compassionately Yours, 

Dear Nikolai,

I love reading but college is making me hate it. I'm constantly forced to read boring textbooks and books I hate, and it leaves me with no time to read the books I want. I now haven't read anything of my choosing since the semester started. Advice?

Sincerely, Sleep Deprived

Dear Sleep Deprived,

Unfortunately, we are sometimes required to do things to which we object. It may be magically re-shelving books in the middle of the night from outside the library, or it may be studying inside the library itself, reading texts that bore you to death. Either way, what must be done, must be done, and I find that the best way to get through it is with the intense conviction that it will pay off someday, whether in a predictable manner or not.

For example, my mentor put me through all sorts of torturous training, like the time she locked me in my bedroom with wild, man-eating animals. I certainly didn't like itin fact, I objected vehementlybut I also knew that the quickest way to get out of the situation was to propel my way through.

Now, I realize this may not have been the advice that you wanted to hear. But what you ought to take away from this is that everything you do makes you stronger, and someday it will pay off. Keeping this kind of optimism is what kept me going. I hope it helps you persevere, as well.

Your Brother in Suffering,

Dear Nikolai,

Someone at work keeps stealing my food, even though it's clearly labeled with my name. I work on a floor with literally hundreds of people, so I couldn't even begin to guess who is doing it. Sometimes they don't take all of the food, but I can still tell that someone has touched it, and that really grosses me out. Buying lunch is too expensive though! What should I do?

Sincerely, Never Thought I'd Understand Ross

Dear Never Thought I'd Understand,

Have you considered poisoning the food to trap your adversary? Perhaps just enough to make them ill?

Dark Nikolai

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollinsPublishers)
Pub Date: May 17, 2016
My Rating: / 5 Stars
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

What do you guys think of this new feature? Who are some characters you'd like to get advice from? Remember if you would like to submit your own questions to be used to in this feature, fill out the Google form or simply leave a comment below!


  1. This is all kinds of fab Brittany! I don't remember The Crown's Game very well but I like the way Nikolai thinks.

    Simon would be a fun one to get advice from!

  2. What a creative feature, I love it! I cracked up at Dark Nikolai's food poisoning suggestion lol I can't wait to see more of these! I'd love to ask advice from Shazi (Wrath and the Dawn) or Audrey Rose or Thomas (Stalking Jack the Ripper)!

  3. This is hilarious! I love this idea. Now I'm off to think of a question I need answered so I can submit to a future post.

  4. This is such a fun post idea! And a great reminder that I need to re-read The Crown's Game so I can finally read the sequel as well :) I'd love to see an advice column from the other Nikolai as well - Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha trilogy :)

  5. This was SUCH a fun post! It was really interesting getting to know more on Nikolai and now I DEFINITELY need to pick up my copy of The Crown's Game :))

  6. This is so wonderful and creative! I love it so much! I still need to read The Crown's Game if you can believe it. I love this little insight to the characters. :)

  7. So fun!! I need to read Crown's Fate still and this is making me want to kick it up in my TBR. I look forward to reading your future character advice columns!

  8. Haha, this is such a fun new feature! I love it!

  9. Such a great and fun post. Plus I love the advice... especially the food stealing one! ROFL!

  10. AHHH THIS WAS THE BEST. The last one wins. Nikolai, you perfect creature, that would be my answer to stealing food too. :')

    Also lol at the Sleep Deprived one. πŸ˜‚
    Asker: college is making me tired


  11. This is an awesome feature! I love that first answer... and the last one too!!!

  12. omg THAT LAST ONE. This is the best idea, B!

  13. This is literally the cutest feature I've ever seen, Brittany! The advice about the prom date was great and really honest. The one with Sleep Deprive just about killed me, though. xD Thanks for the laugh! ♥

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always