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The Crown's Fate

Review

The Crown's Fate

THE CROWN’S FATE picks up almost immediately after where THE CROWN’S GAME left off --- just a few short weeks after the end of the game. Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, though the job isn’t what she had originally imagined --- not after Pasha, the Tsesarevich and heir to the throne,declared a duel to end the Crown’s Game, guaranteeing the death of either Vika or Nikolai, a fact that Vika hasn’t easily forgotten, or forgiven. Combined with the overbearing presence of Pasha’s sister, Yuliana, Vika’s role is not the freeing ability to use magic that she once hoped for. Meanwhile, though Nikolai is not dead, despite giving his life to Vika by transferring his energy to her during the duel, he is not much better off, as he spends the days in a form of ante-death, wandering the mirage of the Kazakh Steppe that he created on an offshore island, struggling to figure out how to bring himself back to life, a problem that Aizhana, Nikolai’s mother, is more than ready to solve. Meanwhile, Pasha struggles with guilt over his friend’s death and his own worries about becoming the Tsar in a time of unrest in Russia, as revolutionaries call for an end to the monarchy. Their actions will determine the Crown’s fate --- seated on the head of the new Tsar or shattered in the streets under the feet of Russia’s revolutionaries.

"Evelyn Skye knows how to write a strong series, exhibiting a command of plot and characterization. Readers who loved the fast pace, magical wonders and Russian flair of THE CROWN’S GAME will not be disappointed by its sequel."

THE CROWN’S FATE is an excellent sequel to THE CROWN’S GAME, continuing with the high-paced action, magical tricks, and sinister plots for power. The pacing of the story is quick, with events quickly unfolding and multiple conflicts starting early in the book, creating a web of desires and objectives that form the structure of the story. The conflict between characters (without giving too much away) is particularly unique, adding interest and suspense to the plot. Each chapter adds to the complexity and propels the story forward, while cycling between different characters to ensure that the reader does not lose interest in the story. However, this fast pace of the story does rush the climax and immediate resolution, lessening their intensity, especially after the suspense and urgency building in the events beforehand, which is disappointing, because the rest of the story is written so well.

There are no new major characters in the sequel, but Vika, Pasha, and Nikolai all grow in character and depth as the story progresses, mostly in a way that feels natural. While Vika and Nikolai’s relationship had a hint of romance in THE CROWN’S GAME, Vika’s attachment to Nikolai in the beginning of the story feels slightly rushed, and a little slower progression of attraction would have made her characterization and actions feel less forced and more realistic to read. Generally, though, the characters are portrayed very well, especially Nikolai, as Skye weaves his voice and emotions smoothly into the narrative. The reader will also enjoy seeing more of Pasha in this story, as he emerges as one of the main voices in this sequel, giving the reader a closer look into his fears and wishes.

Overall, THE CROWN’S FATE demonstrates that Evelyn Skye knows how to write a strong series, exhibiting a command of plot and characterization. Readers who loved the fast pace, magical wonders, and Russian flair of THE CROWN’S GAME will not be disappointed by its sequel.

Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member on May 25, 2017

The Crown's Fate
by Evelyn Skye