Review: ‘A Deal with the Elf King’ Elise Kova

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.

Holy shit. Where do I even begin with this review? Well, I should probably start by stating two things: one, it has been a long time since I’ve put off finishing a book because I wasn’t ready to leave the world in which it’s set and two, this was my first Elise Kova book, but it certainly won’t be my last.

So, Midscape. The Fade. Capton. Elise’s world-building is flawless. The moment Luella stepped into Midscape with Eldas, I could picture the city as though I were gazing upon it with my own eyes. Elise’s writing is evocative, ensuring that her readers are fully immersed in the world in which A Deal with the Elf King is set. In fact, the world-building is so phenomenal that I was genuinely sad when I finished the book and had to leave Midscape.

Let’s talk about Luella. Now, I’m always going on about how much I love badass protagonists and Luella is just that. She’s hard-working and ambitious and doesn’t let something as trivial as a freaking Elf King whisking her away to another world get in the way of this. Luella makes it abundantly clear to those around her in Midscape that she’s not just the Human Queen. She refuses to be defined by her new title, instead ensuring that she’s defined by her actions. She carries on with her healing work and herbology studies, commanding the respect of everyone from Eldas to the castle healer. She knows who and what she is and refuses to allow others to shape her into something she’s not. In a nutshell, Luella is unapologetically herself and this is what makes her a badass in my opinion.

Moving onto Eldas. Oh, Eldas.

Me reading any scene involving Eldas

Characters like Eldas are why my blog is called I swoon over fictional men. I mean, who wouldn’t want to find themselves suddenly married to a dark, brooding and achingly gorgeous elf king? Eldas isn’t perfect, but he grows as a person over the course of the book, revealing that underneath his glacial exterior, he’s just a big, soft marshmallow who wants to be loved. I won’t go into too much detail about his character growth, lest I inadvertently spoil any of the book, but the person he becomes is why he’s now on my list of Top 10 Fictional Boyfriends.

It might come as no surprise after reading my review, but A Deal with the Elf King gets five stars from me.

Want to read A Deal with the Elf King? Head on over to Amazon to order your copy.

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