I’ve heard such mixed things about this book, everyone seems to have a different opinion. This was a reread for me, though I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first time around.
The setting for this book was just perfect, I can tell that Evelyn Skye really knew a lot about early 18th century Imperial Russia. The picture she paints with the setting was so vivid and beautiful, the way she blended the historical setting with the magical elements that she added perfectly, and it made me want to read even more. I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle between the three main characters, and I also wasn’t a fan of the insta-love, unfortunately, this was just riddled with bookish tropes.
I have mixed feelings about the characters, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Nikolai, I found that so much of his problems would have been solved if he’d just been honest with Pasha. I absolutely did not like the relationship between Nikolai and Vika, it was too close to insta-love, they barely had any interaction with each other, and there were talking about how the other was making them tingle was super annoying. Adding in the fact that there meant to kill each other, just made me even more annoyed by their relationship.
Vika was an alright character for me, I didn’t really love her, but I didn’t dislike her, she sometimes tended to be a little naive, and most of the time I thought she should have known better. I’m curious to see how her development will proceed in The Crown’s Fate.
My favorite character by far is most definitely Pasha, my heart ached for him throughout this book, he’s put in an impossible situation that he really doesn’t have any control over. I completely ship him with Vika, and I’m excited to see how their relationship develops over the course of the next and final book. Pasha’s sister Yulina is my least favorite character in this series, so I was glad that we didn’t get to see much of her throughout the book.