Tag Archive | Russia

Review: Blood Heir

Title: Blood Heir

Author: Amélie Wen Zhao

Date of Publication: June 4th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A cunning conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.

The Cyrilian Empire: a glittering white sprawl of frozen tundras and ancient, snow-capped forests, where ice spirits roam beneath the flickering northern lights, and where slavers hunt Affinites — those born with powers to manipulate elements.

Born with a horrifying Affinity to blood, Anastacya Mikhailov has never believed herself to be anything more than a monster. Her curse rings true when an accident in the dead of the night results in the death of her father, the Emperor of Cyrilia — and she is sentenced for his murder.

But Ana knows what she saw that night: the scent of poison in Papa’s blood, and the face of a murderer vanishing into the dark.

Alone, hunted, and on the run, Ana makes a bargain with Ramson Quicktongue, a handsome yet dangerous underground crime lord: help her find the true murderer and clear her name in exchange for her alliance.

When Ana’s search lands her in the lair of the most powerful slave trader in the Empire, she uncovers a horrifying truth. A new monarch stands poised to lead the empire to a path of hatred and divisiveness, and Ana must stop her before Cyrilia falls to darkness. But first, she must come to terms with the monster she thinks she is and the heir she was destined to be.

My Review:

A dark retelling version of Anastasia? I’m all in! I’ve read one other Anastasia retelling, Heart of Iron, which was totally different than this one but both were awesome!

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Ana was my baby monster—she could do some pretty amazing things with other people’s blood! We get another POV besides her, Ramson, and oh boy, this young gent had a mind full of things—betrayals, a dark past, a dark heart with a hint of light hidden in it. I loved him!!! And the scenes with him and Ana own my life!

The writing was so good, and the story was an incredible page turner. I was so scared of another book with a cliffhanger because I’ve started so many dang series that end on them, and while it is open ended because of the second book, it isn’t the death cliffhanger sentence that I loathe! And I’ll be ready for book two when it comes! Can I also just state that the freaking cover artist deserves a metal for the beautiful cover!

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What’s a power that you wish you had?

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Review: The Crown’s Game

Title: The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye

Date of Publication: May 17, 2016

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Goodread’s Summary:

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.

My Review:

So first off I was pretty excited about this book.  I think I got a little too excited because although it was okay it wasn’t the great masterpiece I was expecting it to be.  There were aspects of The Night Circus which I preferred over The Crown’s Game. The Crown’s Game was also told in multiple point of views and at times I felt like most were pointless. The only character I really liked was a side character named Aizhana, and she was likeable to me even though I don’t know if she was meant to be?

Basically the book begins with one of the main characters Vika training and practicing her magic with her father Sergei. They didn’t know that another enchanter Nikolai existed, so when the King needs an Imperial Enchanter Nikolai and Vika discover each other. There can only be one, so they must duel it out to the death.

Now my issue was I was expecting something dark maybe Hunger Games like, but I didn’t receive that.  Instead I got some fluffy magic and an odd sort of love triangle which both of these guys Nikolai and the emperor’s son Pasha fall in love with Vika with pretty much no real conversations with the character throughout the book.  I found myself feeling like I had ADD even though I don’t have it, so I would constantly go and do laundry, come back to the book, go vacuum, come back to the book… etc… etc…

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I felt like nothing was really explained.  The “romance” between Nikolai and Vika not only being underdeveloped, but it seemed like Nikolai should have been romantically linked to his friend Renata because I felt more of a connection between them than what the author wants you to feel between him and Vika.

There were a lot of things that happened in this books and deaths that I didn’t know if I was supposed to feel emotional about it, but I didn’t really feel anything.

There was a lot of magic in the book which I did enjoy, but again I was looking for that “WOW” factor.  Evelyn Skye had great world building, and I am no Russian expert, but I felt like she knew her Russian stuff really well.  It kind of makes me want to go visit Russia tomorrow.  And the food… Oh my goodness the food there was so much talk about food!  Maybe it is because I love food, but I really liked it.

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In the end it did actually get pretty good with the final duel, and although there is a cliffhanger I didn’t think it was a terrible one, and instead it seemed hopeful to me.

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Have you read this book yet or not?  Do you know of any other Russian inspired books?