Paranormal Romance

Review: A Deal with the Elf King – Elise Kova (Married to Magic #1)

Rating: 5 out of 5.


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.


I don’t often read a lot of fantasy stories but I was scrolling through Instagram recently and came across a list of books that were related to the Hades/Persephone trope, either as retellings or stories loosely-based on the myth. Hades/Persephone is one of my all time favourite myths so I was pretty much ready to read any and all books on the list. A Deal with the Elf King, however, exceeded my expectations! It’s been a little over a week so I read it and I’m still raving to everyone about it.

I would probably classify A Deal with the Elf King as loosely-based on the myth since it’s primary similarities are King of Death/Darkness marries a woman from another region who’s magical ability is to grow and bring forth life. Other than that, A Deal with the Elf King is refreshing in its creativity and intrigue.

Each generation, the Elf King must travel from Midscape to the land humans inhabit to marry the next Human Queen. The Human Queen can be identified by their magical ability and as a young adult becomes trained in their new role in helping keep the peace and magic flowing amongst the regions. Luella is a nineteen-year-old herbology student and trained healer in her community. She’s set on her future as a healer until her life is suddenly disrupted by the news that she’s the next Human Queen and must leave her town behind. Worries plague her further as she realises the powers of the Human Queens have been lessening as the generations go by and she may be the last in the line. If so, magic may fall between the regions and an uprising will occur, causing death and destruction to many. Luella knows she’ll need to utilise her botanical knowledge and magical abilities to find a solution if she wants to save her people and the inhabitants of the surrounding areas.

What I really loved about this story was the perfect balance of character development, plotline and magical, faraway lands. This is one fictional realm, I would love to visit! If you love a great enemies-to-lovers tale, whimsical settings, or grand adventures with secrets to be discovered, I highly recommend you check this book out.

This is my first Elise Kova read but certainly won’t be my last. Kova weaves a wonderful story and I look forward to going through her backlist and checking out her future works.

Please note: Since this book is considered New Adult (rather than Young Adult), I’ll be categorising it on my blog under Paranormal Romance (which includes Fantasy).

Purchase your copy now!
Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA


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