This is really late in the day, but Happy Book Birthday to Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh and The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye! These were two of my most anticipated releases for this year, and while I have to wait a little longer for my copy of Flame in the Mist to arrive, I was lucky enough to snag a ARC of The Crown’s Fate at Yallwest from the Epic Reads booth! I actually grabbed the very last copy AND was able to meet Evelyn at her signing, so that makes my book so much sweeter and more precious. I blew through it in just a few hours, and I’m pleased to say that I truly enjoyed it! My final rating?
I give The Crown’s Fate 9 out of 10 stars!
I’m writing this while waiting for my cookies to bake (see Twitter thread for more information), so Goodreads it is. Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia. 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.
Ok, let me just get my one tiny, tiny quibble out of the way: I missed the actual Crown’s Game itself. I think that’s just because I have a weakness for magical tournaments (see A Gathering of Shadows) because they allow for such breathtaking and increasingly elaborate displays of magic.
(Here’s where I start giving this book all the praise it deserves.) However, do not worry. There are still plenty of grand displays of magic, and although most of them are not for aesthetic reasons, there are still plenty of impressive feats to ooh and aah at. In this book, I think the true gems were the angst. And believe me. The slow burn and tangled relationships were REAL. To be honest, The Crown’s Fate was truly plot-driven, with lots of action, so it’s no wonder that most of the romance was very complicated. Almost all relationships: familial, platonic, and romantic, were tested in very real ways because there was just so much juicy action going on. I mean, with the way things exploded at the end of The Crown’s Game, are you really surprised that everything is so complicated? This book was pretty fast-paced, with events and shocking moments stacked right in front of each other, so get ready for a bumpy ride!
Another thing I adored about this book: there were so many tie-ins to Russian culture and history! There were references to old tsars, and nods to famous fairy tales. Also, the food was back! This was a huge plus for me in The Crown’s Game, so it should come as no surprise to you that I was once again salivating over all the food in the sequel.
I know this review is much shorter than my usual, but because this book just came out I don’t want to reveal too much and would rather let you guys discover all the magic on your own! Trust me, you definitely want to pick up this book as soon as possible!