I'm not going to warn you off of The Crown's Game. Some people seem to like it. I've seen it on pretty much every booktuber's (booktubers, for the uninitiated, as I was myself a short time ago, are people who blog about books on You Tube) shelf. All that said, I couldn't get into it. I found it to be superficial. That's my main word for this book. The characters are superficial. The game is superficial. The motivations of the characters are superficial. I have no idea why any of them find any of the others romantically interesting, but apparently they do. The magic is kind of boring. Okay, so that sounds like I'm warning you off. That was the bad stuff. I will say this book was fine. I could have finished it without feeling like it was torture, but I simply didn't want to. I wanted to move onto something I'd be enjoying instead of simply passing time with.
The story is that in Russia of 1825 there arises a situation where there are two enchanters coming into full power. Usually, there can only be one as that one yields all of the country's magical power. Having more than one would dilute the magic. Thus, the tsar orders the beginning of The Crown's Game. The game should leave only one contender alive (but I think it's clear from the start this will be overcome). We learn that a contestant may directly kill the other but that, when the game ends, if both are alive, a winner is declared and the other dies magically.
I like to think I'm a fan of high stake games (okay, The Game of Love and Death didn't work out for me, either), but this one was just (you guessed it) superficial. And a bit dull.
This book may strike a cord for you. It does for some. I'm not saying you shouldn't try it if it calls to you. It did not, however, work for me and I only made it about half way through.