Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Tsar's Parade: The Girls of the Court (BFF Material?)

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Title: The Crown's Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

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 enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’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 enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’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 Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

You may or may not know that Evelyn is doing this thing where, every month, she releases the profile of one of the characters in her new book on her website, and I love it! It's fun and it leaves you wanting more about the characters, that smart woman. Obviously, because they are awesome, I'm most intrigued by the female characters we've gotten a peek at. So, I have decided to dedicate my stop on the Parade to them! It's totally unecessary to tell you this, but if you scroll down, you'll see the girls of the court and why I really, really, really want to be friends with them. (and it's not only because I don't want to be found in a ditch. I get the feeling that's very possible if you get on one of their badsides.)

Red flame of hair, with a loud streak of black. Like a volcano erupting in lava and ash, Vika Andreyeva is a force to be reckoned with. She can control the elements, but her emotions—particularly her mischievous streak—often control her.
Which makes her a touch unpredictable.
And yet, there is one constant about Vika: the black stone pendant around her neck. She’s had it since the day she was born.
Age: 16
Hair: Red waves with a lock of black
Eyes: Hazel
Favorite Food: Blini with wild strawberry jam
Favorite Color: The color at sunset when the sky is on fire
Favorite Pastime: Daydreaming about getting off the forest island on which she lives.
Vika screams passion to me. Everything about her is a force of nature- scorching red and black. I haven't read the book yet, but I imagine that this is someone who you could sneak out with in the middle of the night to go on an adventure! She'll push to to your limits and encourage you to do things you never would have done. If she catches anyone talking shit about you, she'll make them regret the day they were born with a series of humiliating and hilarious pranks/schemes. Or she might just be like "Fight Me" and knock them to next week.

While Pasha is cavalier with his role as Crown Prince, his sister, Yuliana, is unsmilingly serious about being the Grand Princess. Although she’s two years younger than Pasha, she often acts as if she’s twenty older.
There is no political machination or negotiation that goes unnoticed by Yuliana. She may not be strong, physically, but she can bring almost anyone to their knees with her intellect. Even the Tsar’s secrets are not safe from Yuliana’s prying eyes.
Age: 15
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Favorite Food: Sturgeon soup with champagne. It was a favorite of Catherine the Great; therefore, it is a favorite of Yuliana’s.
Favorite Color: Who has time for colors?
Favorite Pastime: Studying maps
Yuliana is definitely different from Vika. I might be completely wrong, but I think that she's the kind of friend who's really hard to get close to, but once she feels you can be trusted, truly trusted, she's loyal af. She's very reserved and subtle. She knows how to keep her emotions in check. You could tell her everything, but you don't have to. She sees it written all over your face. If she found someone talking shit, she'd find so much dirt and blackmail that she could ruin their lives with one tweet.

A servant in the house where Nikolai lives, Renata Galygina also happens to be the only person (other than his mentor) who knows that Nikolai is an enchanter. He didn’t mean to share that fact with her, but Renata quite literally stumbled upon it one day when she walked into his room.
However, Renata has a secret talent as well: she reads tea leaves.
It makes for a very interesting household.
Age: 16
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Favorite Food: Kulich, a traditional, sweet Easter bread
Favorite Color: Peacock Green
Favorite Pastime: Learning new ways to braid her hair
Renata is the type of friend who knows how to keep a secret-(I would hope lol). She always has a ear to confide in and a shoulder to cry on. She'll tell you that everything will be alright and make you smile. I feel like she's the friend that you go out to eat with and can sit in your pajamas eating day old pizza and never be judged. If she hears someone talking smack, I like to think she'll find someway to "accidentally" give them food poisoning or have bedbugs "somehow" find their way into their bedsheets.

Better not to know from whence Aizhana came.
Better not to see her face beneath her cloak.
And better not to feel her wrath and pain.
Age: Uncountable
Hair: Unknown
Eyes: Don’t look
Favorite Food: Better not to ask…
Favorite Color: The lack thereof.
Favorite Pastime: Some say Aizhana used to love to dance.
Ooooh, Aizhana. She's a tricky one. I know literally like nothing about her, and I think she likes it that way. I think she's someone who does not have many friends, but I'm not sure whether she even wants them or not. Nonetheless, I think that if you do get to know her, it will be a great privilege. Again, I'm getting all of this by looking at a short character profile, but if she even heard a rumor of someone talking shit, they'd disappear within the day.
...and that's it!

Wow, I think it'll be really interesting to come back after I've read the book and see how wrong/right I was about everyone!

oh! if you didn't already know, you can find the girls and everyone else here:

One of you lucky people (totally not jealous or anything) will go home with an ARC!

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About the Author:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

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  1. Great post! I'm so excited to read this book; it looks so good!

  2. Great post! I'm so excited to read this book; it looks so good!