Who is this Nikolai and why do I care if he’s saved or not?, or my review of The Crown’s Fate

the crown's fate

The Crown’s Fate (The Crown’s Game #2)

By: Evelyn Skye

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: May 16th, 2017

Format: ARC


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.

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Who is this Nikolai and why do I care if he’s saved or not?


This is the ultimate question of The Crown’s Fate for me, the sequel I’ve been dying to get my hands on since last year. The world that Evelyn built was still there, the lushly created Russia, the magic, the island, but it felt muted. It was a shadow of what was rendered for The Crown’s Game and it was my first inkling that this may not be the sequel I was looking for.


Besides the atmosphere, there was also Nikolai, a favorite from the first book, who I felt was barely recognizable. But, that is part of his character arc. He is a shadow of himself, literally, and is poisoned by the whisperings of his diabolical mother. His personality, though, is a shadow of his former self, too. I couldn’t relate his motivations with the Nikolai from first book, and the only true thing connecting the two versions was the fact that they loved Vika.


As for Pasha, I still found him annoying, and I was looking forward to seeing more of his sister, but she was just as underwhelming. Vika was my favorite character, of the main cast, and she had to juggle a lot in this book, and her stress and lengths she goes to and the loyalty she displays was the most relatable thing about the book. My main complaint with the cast though was the lack and presence of two minor characters. Renata, I don’t understand why she is in this story, I really don’t. Also, she annoys the hell out of me. And Ludmilla? Where the hell was she? I wanted some of her spark to balance out the darkness in this book, and I also wanted more descriptions of her fabulous pastries.


And the ending? It felt anticlimactic. Beware of spoilers, but there is this rebellion that has been brewing and gaining powering throughout the book, and it is diffused within a matter of pages. Some shit goes down and Nikolai suddenly becomes himself again, like he wasn’t being a power hungry weirdo for the majority of the book. There were some scenes that were memorable, that had a hint of the magic from the games in the first book, but their impact didn’t last and I was left longing to reread the first book instead.

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. An advanced copy was provided by Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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