Series: The Crown's Game #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17th 2016
Genres: Historical, Fantasy
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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 enchantersÂ—the only two in RussiaÂ—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the CrownÂ’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skillÂ—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the TsarÂ’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 enchanterÂ—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the CrownÂ’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned withÂ—beautiful, whip smart, imaginativeÂ—and he canÂ’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, NikolaiÂ’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 CrownÂ’s Game is not one to lose.
I love book reviews. I love reading them and writing them. I know some people who won’t read a review until after they’ve read the book. I never really understood why. Positive reviews are usually fun yet still vague. People are so careful not to spoil anything. Negative reviews are sometimes more specific. Wherein lies the problem.
Reading The Crown’s Game, I learned an important lesson about myself and the way I think. I read a negative review about this book before I read the book and I was fascinated. Up until that point I had only heard good things. I was so surprised to see a negative review from someone who’s opinion I really respect. Plus, I love dissenting opinions. It’s always interesting to see why people disagree. So I read this negative review. Then another. Then a different one. Â The whole time I was thinking, “Wow, this is so interesting. This is an entirely different take on this book that I haven’t read but have been looking forward to immensely.” Each negative review commented on a small specific thing that annoyed the author. Not a spoiler but something much more specific than would be mentioned in a positive review.Â I got excited, reading reviews and I got my preorder in. I immediately picked it up and read through it.
I won’t be reading negative reviews before a book again.
I wasn’t spoiled by the negative reviews because there was nothing plot specific in them. However, I did find myself comparing the book to the opinions of others. I found myself looking for whatever small annoyance that this person or that person found objectionable. I’m not sure if anything they were bothered by would have bothered me on my own but since I was looking for it, I found it. Â Some issues I agreed with, some I didn’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter because I was thinking about what other people thought of the book instead of enjoying it.
I’m really mad at myself for letting other opinions influence the way I feel about this book when I was so excited about it. This has turned more into a discussion post than a review.
How do you feel when you read reviews? Have you ever had a review that you read affect your opinion of a book?
As for The Crown’s Game, I liked it. Just not as much as I had hoped I would. I’ll never know if i would have felt like this if I hadn’t read those review’s first. Still, I won’t do this again.