The Tsar’s Guard Parade: Top Destinations to Check Out in Russia

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There is an exciting fantasy book releasing in May that I cannot wait for, and it coincidentally takes place in Russia, which I visited the past two summers ago. Russia is such a beautiful place, and the intricate history and rich culture makes it stand out so much. In this post, I’ll be giving a tour of places you must go to, if you ever decide on making a visit to this glorious country!

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26156203The Crown’s Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Find it Here: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


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.



Photos were taken in summer of 2013.

Winter Palace


This was declared part of the State Hermitage Museum in 1917, and numerous tourists come daily to visit! It once housed the emperors of history, but nowadays hold relics and artifacts that show visitors a little bit of the story that happened in the past. It’s so easy to get engulfed in Russian culture when going to this place.

Red Square

Featuring iconic stops such as Lenin’s Mausoleum and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square is a must go-to for travelers around the world! You really can’t miss out a chance to experience Russia the way you can when you stop by this destination.

Summer Garden

A Summer Palace is there to contrast with the Winter Palace, and the garden is absolutely stunning. It’s great for a leisurely stroll, while listening to local musicians play authentic music or checking out the numerous stalls that litter the area. It’s kind of like a park, but one that played a significant role in history. After all, a tsar was almost assassinated in this place!

Lake Baikal

So the western area of Russia is always extolled upon, but travel farther east and you’ll also find some hidden treasures! Lake Baikal is the deepest lake on earth, being around 1,640 meters. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. You can take a train to travel around the whole lake, which lasts about a day. The hotels there are really quite local, and you’ll find it easy to experience the full culture of Russia in the expansive nature that Siberia has to offer.


Evelyn Skye head shot high res

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.
Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram


  • 1 winner will receive an ARC of The Crown’s Game, INTL.


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9 thoughts on “The Tsar’s Guard Parade: Top Destinations to Check Out in Russia

  1. Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer says:

    OHMYGOSH, OHMYGOSH I literally cannot even begin to explain my freakish excitement for this book. Literally everything about it sounds like something I’m going to love. And those pictures are GORGEOUS. I would honestly love to visit Russia one day. The architecture is extraordinary. Thanks so much for the giveaway!!! 🙂

  2. Trisha Ann says:

    OHMYGOODNESS. I AM DROOLING OVER THESE PHOTOS! Russia is definitely on my travel list. Ahh those photos definitely made me want to sing songs from Anastasia LOL. How was your trip there? Was it difficult finding your way around or there were numerous people who speak English?

    Also, that book is on my TBR just now! The premise looks very very exciting! I love that it has a touch of Asian history and that fantasy theme sounds refreshing! 😀

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      I’m glad it’s on your travel list! And YAAS Anastasia *hums a waltz*

      The trip was amazing! I had a tour guide, so they basically translated everything when we were with them. But when we were just at restaurants or walking alone at areas, it was pretty easy to communicate with people! They knew at least a little bit of English (probably because there were so many tourists hehe) so it was easy to navigate around. For example, we found a local theater and watched ballet through gestures and short phrases, haha.

      IKR, I can’t wait for this book too! All I’ve heard are great things. 😀

  3. Sarah Cone says:

    This book sounds SOOO GOOOD and I can’t wait to read it!
    It’s also super awesome that you got to travel to Russia and I appreciate the tour! All of the places you pictured/described look gorgeous and I’d love to be able to see them in person some day.
    Until then, I’m afraid I’m going to have to live vicariously through you. (Hope you don’t mind) 😉

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      I would never mind! 😀
      I know, the trip to Russia was a total surprise trip with my dad’s side of the family and I was like “?!?! OMG?!?!” when he told me we were going! It was really a wonderful experience that I hope you could experience one day, Sarah.
      For real though, May definitely needs to come quicker!

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