A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1) by Elise Kova

Fantasy/Romance, 338 pages, published in 2020

Every 100 years, the Elf King comes to Luella’s village to pick a human bride in order to fulfill a centuries old pact. The Human Queen must have magic, so Luella knows it isn’t her, until a long kept secret is revealed. Suddenly, she whisked away to a new land and role that she had no preparation for and is married to the cold Elf King.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Content Warning: arranged/forced marriage, semi-graphic sex

I saw the cover and the premise of this book…and I had to pick it up. Fake relationships (including fake dating, contract marriage, fake marriage, and arranged marriage) is probably my all time favorite romance trope, so add elves into that, and I’m in.

The beginning started off a little weird. There is a childhood friend love interest that annoyed me while I was reading, but he ended up not being a big part of the story at all. How Luella reacts to this character’s action kind of sets her up for the rest of the book, so beyond that, this guy had no point.

The first 200 pages or so felt very….repetitive. Luella has to get used to living in the elf realm and has to figure out what is expected of her as the Human Queen. She was a healer in her village, so she picks up working in the greenhouse. She doesn’t interact all that much with the Elf King, Eldas, even though he has agreed to teach her about her magic. It felt like every time one of them would open up to the other, they would immediately put their walls up and go right back to where they started.

Once plot finally started happening and Luella and Eldas actually started forming a bond, the pages flew by. Luella is very fiery and strong-willed, so sometimes she did things that weren’t necessarily well-thought out. Eldas kind of lacks a personality, but in general he was a decent guy.

The magic felt a little convenient at times, but overall, I think this world was pretty cool. Elves, fae, mer, vampyrs, and more all live across a border from a human village, where the humans have a longer than normal lifespan due to their proximity to magic.

I ended up with very lukewarm feelings. I can see the potential, but this book was just alright. This is going to be a series of standalones that will all be set in this world (I believe), so I’m definitely interested in reading more. I also am very intrigued by this author’s series because I think her writing style would translate well to a series. Plus, I’ve seen her Air Awakens series all over the place and I’ve always been interested but a little intimidated!

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3 thoughts on “A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1) by Elise Kova

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