Featured Review: A Deal with the Elf King (Elise Kova)
About This Book:
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.
*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*
A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING is the beautifully written story of Luella, a 19-year-old woman who has dedicated her life to helping others through herbology. She lives on one side of the Fade, the Natural World that exists in tandem with Midscape, the land where magical creatures live. Midscape is overseen by the Elf King, and he comes every so often to the Natural World to claim a Human Queen, a girl born every generation with magical powers. Together, they maintain the balance of power to keep both worlds in check.
Luella is past the page where the magical abilities of the Human Queen would manifest, so it is shocking when the Elf King comes to claim a Queen - and reveals that she is the one he has been looking for. As she travels to Midscape, Luella is troubled to leave the family she loves, the town she is dedicated to healing, and the world she knows to go with this handsome but surly man. She decides to try to find a way to end the need for a Human Queen, but this is no easy task. As she learns more about Midscape and the Elf King, she will find her heart pulled in more directions than she expected.
This is a story that seems predictable but fills in the gaps with so many little surprises. I was completely gripped from the start, and this book was difficult to put down. Luella is a compelling character who is internally conflicted but wants to see the good in everyone. As the book continues we see her struggle to define herself and others in this uncertain world.
In terms of the fantasy and world-building, I loved that we get to learn about the city, some of their customs, as well as some of the other magical creatures who live there. A definite favorite is Hook, the Fade wolf who bonds with Luella. I would have liked to learn even more about him and the other beings who live in Midscape. Hopefully, this will be continued in future books. I also would have really loved to see excerpts from the past Queen's diaries that we hear about in the book.
I also appreciated that this is a stand-alone, so we see the entirety of Luella's story. I am, however, eager to continue learning more about this world in future books, so I will definitely be on the lookout for more. In terms of the romance, the sexual tension in the book was a bit of pleasant torture, and I loved the way the romance developed, they got to know each other slowly, and the way it concluded - it was perfect.
Overall, A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING is a compelling YA fantasy that captures the heart and imagination with compelling characters, intriguing new worlds, and thrilling romance.
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