Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Hey y'all!It's Grace here, in the midst of midterms - so excuse me if I go bury myself in Latin for the week. One thing I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend is my ability to finally read again. I've been able to in bits and pieces - short stories and poems mostly, with a reread or two throne in there - but not in the holistic way that I'd like. Last week, I gushed about my excitement for Traitor to the Throne, and I'm back this week with another sequel. Without further ado...Novel: The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye | GoodreadsPublisher: Balzer + BrayRelease Date: May 16, 2017

Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

My mark of a good fantasy is whether or not I'm entirely absorbed into the story. The synopsis compares it to Red Queen and Shadow and Bonebut I personally think it's much better. If anything, I would liken it to The Night Circus - something powerfully distinct and dreamlike.For one, I'm a sucker for Imperial Russia. Such an underrated setting, conveyed so beautifully! Such opportunity for richness!Also, the characters are passionately different, with compelling reasons to root for them. They also clash quite a bit, which is unbearably fascinating.It can be a little slow, but not in a bad way. In a way that lets you sink entirely into the premise and the writing. I wrote about it in my mid-year favorites of last year.

Lush teenage version of The Night Circus in imperial Russia? Sign me up. The absorbing storytelling, colorful characters, and sizzling conflict set up for a marvelous series. Each time I dove into this one, it felt like an utter treat.

You can read my full (mini) review of the first book here.One note is that this isn't simply a sequel; it's a conclusion. That means that I will inevitably be crying at the end of it, both from the joy of reading it and the bitter pain of knowing I have to wait a while for the next Evelyn Skye book. Give it to me now please!

What do y'all think?