The Crown's Fate: The Crown's Game, Book 2

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Crown's Fate:  The Crown's Game, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Exciting, magical sequel steps up action and thrills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Russian and French phrases, most translated or with context clues. Historical setting with some real people and events, as well as cultural and historical insight into czarist Russia and the Decembrist uprising in 1825; inaccuracies and alterations for story convenience are explained in the author's note.

Positive Messages

Be careful what you wish for; it might come true. We're not defined by what we can do but by what we actually do. Forgiveness is needed to heal, be whole, and stop the cycle of death and destruction. There are other ways to become whole and find your other half besides romantic love; family and friendship can provide those feelings, too. What's past is past; what matters is being able to look forward to the future.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vika knows she has to fulfill her duty to the crown, and she does even at great cost. She also looks for loopholes and workarounds when what she's told to do seems wrong. She never gives up on her friends and bravely faces what must be done. Nikolai's under the influence of dark magic and most of his actions are motivated by selfish desires; it's clear that his actions and their results are disastrous. Both Nikolai and Pasha learn what they really want and to let go of what others tell them they should want.

Violence

Fantasy violence with magical fights and battles. People and objects are thrown around, run through with swords, and killed using magic and in battle. Blood's mentioned and seen streaming, seeping, and so on but not described in great detail. Pain and suffering are described briefly. Some men joke about a past sexual assault and possible rape, saying the girls begged for more with their screams. A scary, zombie-like character uses magic to attack and kill people. A hand is blown off by cannon fire; pain and suffering are briefly described, with blood and the bloody stump mentioned several times. Characters frequently in peril from magical and fantasy events.

Sex

Two or three passionate kisses and some light caressing. Noticing physical attraction and thinking about kissing. Fantasy creatures (nymphs) dance naked.

Language

One character rarely uses "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Vodka, wine, and samogon (like a homemade moonshine) mentioned. Characters drink vodka to excess a few times; drunken behavior is shown with no real consequences.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Evelyn Skye's The Crown's Fate is the sequel to The Crown's Game and picks up right after the events in the first book. Characters and events stand alone well enough in the second book, but reading the first one would add a lot of dimension, especially to the characters. A fair amount of fantasy violence is scary and mentions blood and injuries but isn't gory. One character is a creepy zombie whose gross appearance is briefly described. Sexy stuff is rare but includes a few kisses with tongue and some descriptions of noticing physical attraction. The strongest language is rare use of "damn." Mostly minor and background characters frequently drink; their behavior is shown, but consequences aren't.

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What's the story?

THE CROWN'S FATE now lies in Vika's hands. As the winner of the deadly Crown's Game, she is Imperial Enchantress to Pasha, whose coronation as Tsar of All the Russias is to take place in a month's time. But Vika achieved her dream at the heaviest cost: Nikolai, the other half of her soul, is lost in shadow. There's another heavy price to pay as Imperial Enchantress, too. Vika is magically bound to follow the tsar's orders no matter what her own conscience dictates; if she doesn't, a magic golden bracelet causes searing burns on her arm. Can Vika do what she must and save Nikolai and the Russian empire?

Is it any good?

This exciting sequel keeps the charm and intrigue of 1820s tsarist Russia while stepping up the thrills and action as two great enchanters seem destined to fight one another forever. In The Crown's Fate, author Evelyn Skye uses her descriptive powers to keep the action and plot advancing. But she doesn't leave characters behind. Vika, Pasha, Nikolai, and Yuliana are fully developed and intriguing in their own ways, adding dimension to what readers of the first book already know. 

Tweens and teens who like sorcery, intrigue, battles, giant statues coming to life, and more than one character coming back from the dead will be swept up in this magical, epic story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Crown's Fate. Is it more or less scary if it's done by magic or fantasy? Why?

  • Did you read the first book, The Crown's Game? Which of the two books do you like better, or do you like them equally? If you didn't read the first one, how does this one compare to other fantasies you've read?

  • If you read the first book, did this one turn out like you thought it would? Would you like to see another in the series? What kind of future do you imagine for Pasha, Vika, and Nikolai?

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