genre: historical fantasy
In post Napoleonic-Wars Russia, the Imperial Enchanter has died. And while the Russian populous is unaware that there is magic in the land, the czar knows. And when Russia needs a new imperial enchanter, then the Crown's Game must begin. A duel of magical skill, the Crown's Game will determine who is deserving of the right to advise and help the czar to protect Russia from all the outside forces threatening the balance of power.
Vika has been studying and honing her magic her whole life. With her father as her guide, she can manipulate the elements and ward off dangers. She is prepared for the role of imperial enchanter but when she finds out that there is another contender, everything certain in her life disappears. There is no way to be sure if what she knows and what she can do will be enough to win.
This audiobook really hit the spot. While I was sometimes a bit frustrated with how much it paralleled The Night Circus, the reality is that I loved The Nights Circus so I appreciated it in all its differences. I appreciated the Russian setting and the time period, I liked the complicated romantic plot and even was okay with how it resolved and appreciated that the author didn't try and somehow force things to end perfectly, because if she had I would've had a very hard time believing it.
Truth be told, I probably most loved the book because the reader was so very good. Steve West does a phenomenal job of bringing characters to life especially with all the Russian names and places. I loved being able to hear them pronounced correctly and in an accent no less.
My sister had recommended this to me and I am glad that I took a chance on it.