From the "Circle of Shadows" series, volume 1
Age Range: 12 - 18
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A faction pursuing the spoils of a dark legend threatens the land of Kichona and countries beyond.

Kichona, ruled by benevolent Empress Aki, has known a decade of peace since the defeat of Prince Gin in the Blood Rift. Sora and Daemon are apprentice taigas, warriors marked by the goddess Luna, and trained in combat and ability-enhancing magic to serve the empire. Called by their taiga names, Spirit and Wolf, Sora and Daemon are also each other’s gemina, divinely-linked warrior partners who share a mental connection. Talented but mischievous Sora finds purpose and motivation after reflecting on her younger sister’s death during the Blood Rift. Daemon, physically strong but less gifted magically, is struggling to prove himself while hoping to discover his parents’ identities and struggling to suppress his feelings for Sora, as romantic relationships between gemina are forbidden. While Sora and Daemon seek to find out the truth about Daemon’s missing parents, they uncover a startling enemy with phenomenal powers beyond any that they have ever seen—and the ambitions of this enemy are darker and deadlier than any previous one. Skye (The Crown’s Fate, 2017, etc.) has built a world that loosely fuses elements of Japanese and European folklore, legends, and naming conventions. The storyline however, occasionally falls flat, and characterizations feel somewhat trite. Characters have different shades of hair, including blue, platinum blonde, golden, or dyed black, but race is indeterminate.

Lackluster. (map) (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-264372-8
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2018

Kirkus Interview
Evelyn Skye
July 5, 2016

Evelyn Skye’s debut YA novel The Crown’s Gameis a historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia about two teenagers who must compete for the right to become the Imperial Enchanter—or die in the process. 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. As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear…the Crown’s Game is not one to lose. “Wildly romantic, wholly immersive, and gloriously over-the-top,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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