Title: A Deal with the Elf King
Author: Elise Kova
Series: Married to Magic #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Audience: New Adult
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: November 6, 2020
Source: Personal collection
Recommended for fans of: fluffy romance with a dash of fantasy
Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Uprooted, this stand-alone, fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the Elf King is impossible to put down!
The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.
Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.
To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.
That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.
Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.
The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.
A Deal with the Elf King is a complete, stand-alone novel, inspired by the tales of Hades and Persephone, as well as Beauty and the Beast, with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for fantasy romance fans looking for just the right amount of steam and their next slow-burn and swoon-worthy couple.
This was my first book by Elise Kova, and I went into it with very high expectations. I’ve heard amazing things about her Air Awakens series (which I’m going to read soon, I promise!). This is inspired by Beauty & the Beast and Hades & Persephone, and I am a sucker for retellings. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I splurged on the hardcover because the design under the dust jacket is stunning. However, this book did not quite meet my expectations.
I really liked Luella. She is caring, passionate, hardworking, and clever. The magic system was interesting, if a bit simple. I loved Hook, . I wanted more from the Elf King. He was more grumpy and short-tempered than dark and brooding, and it didn’t take long to reveal his soft side.
I enjoyed the will-they-won’t-they between Luella and Eldas, but I wanted more from the romance. The romance was not particularly steamy, and it was a bit too much of a slow burn. In general, this book was slow. Luella does a lot of research, exploring, and thinking about how to break the curse. There was a subplot with a “villain” that felt very forced. This book could’ve used more tension in a lot of areas.
I enjoyed Kova’s writing, the world, and the story overall, and it gave me warm fuzzies at the end. I just wish there had been a bit more going on. I recommend A Deal with the Elf King if you are looking for a light, easygoing fantasy romance with a happily ever after. I will definitely pick up the next book in this series of standalones.