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.
After reading this, I can say it truly is inspired by Beauty and Beast and the story of Hades and Persephone. You can tell by the Elf King himself. He's rough and cold until Luella gets him to open up. The plot is simple, Luella's chosen as the next woman from her village to go into Elf lands for the sake of both people. She wasn't prepared for the role because one of the Keepers gave her a necklace that hid her powers. Even she didn't know herself.
The necklace was pretty useless because the Elf King finds her quickly anyway and takes her into his lands across the Fade. She spends her time trying to find a way back to her people while slowly falling for the Elf King.
I loved the Fade. It was dark and misty, and I wished we could spend more time there. Most of this book takes place in the castle of the Elf King. We do spend some time in the human town but just at the start and end.
I wanted more darkness from a novel that claims inspiration from two dark stories. But it's a lot like any other new adult fantasy romance. Granted, I loved this novel because of the delicious slow burn, but honestly, it's nothing new.
I know not every book needs to be something groundbreaking and original, and again, I still really liked this novel. I'm going to read the squeal for sure! I just expected more from the story.
The writing is straight forward and easy to read. No purple prose or anything fancy. Which I usually prefer. It's easier to get into the story that way for me.
A Deal with the Elf King is a superb standalone fantasy romance! It's not often I find a standalone like this with good world-building. I applaud the author for doing such a great job without any huge info-dumping parts. Sure, there are parts where characters will explain things, but it never feels like info-dumping. Instead, the author makes it fun to read.
To wrap all this up. The story isn't perfect with the ending - the choice that Luella made. Still, it's so rare that I find a well-done standalone in fantasy so I fully recommend it!