A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova – Review

Published: November 6, 2020

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Series: Married to Magic #1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 338 (Paperback)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0


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.

I’ve been in the mood for fun fantasy romances lately and thought this looked like the perfect fit. I had read a few of Elise Kova’s other books, and this in on par as far as quality goes – good fun, good writing, and characters you can quickly begin rooting for! Plus, the cover art is fantastic. 

In this world humans and elves are separated from one another by a magical barrier and a treaty established long ago. The first Human Queen joined with the Elf King to form the treaty and a magical bargain and thereafter, a new human queen is sent to the elves to replace the one who has passed on. This time the human queen cannot be found and the new Elf King comes to search for his bride because the elven lands are trapped in endless winter. 

Enter Luella – her greatest desire is to provide medical care to the people in her town, especially since they contributed so that she might attend school to do just that. When the Elf King shows up and she is revealed to be the Human Queen, her world is shaken. She will be leaving her family and all her patients behind – what will they do without her? How can she possibly abandon her duty to the people she cares for? She is married to Eldas, the young new Elf King and whisked off to the elven lands where she will live for the rest of her life, aside from a brief visit home at Midsummer. Her magic is necessary to sustain the elven lands, so that the seasons might flow as they should and food can be grown and harvested.

Honestly, it was delightful and just a teensy bit frustrating while Luella and Eldas got to know one another. It was quite tense and purely business-like at first and they slowly started to fall for one another. But Luella was also vocally determined to find a way to break the bond tying the Human Queen to the throne, so that created a bit of distance between the two characters as well. Overall, it was just a delightful journey.

I’m so glad I picked up this fun little read. Elise Kova seems to always write such good fantasy romances and this one was a fairly low-stakes read despite Luella’s quest to break her bond to the throne. No terrible wars, no saving the world (despite the drama of the synopsis), none of the world ending melodrama so often associated with fantasy romance (LOL)! If you need a nice lighter read in the midst of all the heavy SFF this might be the book for you. There’s also another standalone book set in the same world coming out in August which I’m VERY excited for! 

**I changed my rating between 3.5 and 4 stars like 4 times… sometimes it’s so hard to decide on a rating!**

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