A Deal With The Elf King is the latest novel by New York Times bestseller Elise Kova, who also happens to be one of my favourite authors. When I heard that she had written a standalone I was unbelievably excited to read it. I had high expectations for this book and oh my were they met.
Set between Capton and Midscape this world is inhabited by humans, elves, fae and vampirs. Every 100 years a Human Queen is sent to Midscape to marry the Elf King and bring Spring back, she is the only human with magic. It has been 101 years since the last Human Queen was taken and Midscape has been in a perpetual Winter for the last year.
Told from the perspective of Luella, a nineteen-year-old herbalist thought she was safe from being chosen as she is now past the age of showing magical abilities. At least that’s what she thought. It turns out everything she knew was a lie and she is in fact the next Human Queen. Forced to marry the cruel but devastatingly handsome Elf King, Luella sets out to find a way to break the cycle and free herself and future Human Queens.
First things first I would love an entire series of this, please. I’m guessing Elise is planning on writing more standalones which are set in this world, I don’t know for sure but I’m very hopeful that she will. Her worldbuilding is so incredible that it would be foolish not to.
Let’s talk a little more about worldbuilding, shall we? Elise has an incredible talent when it comes to worldbuilding. As soon as the book takes you to a new location you can vividly picture yourself standing in Luella’s shoes. I’ve been having a bit of trouble getting into books lately but I found that once I really got going with this I was completely lost in it.
I love how fierce Luella is and that she is never portrayed as the ‘damsel in distress’ type. Even though when she came to Midscape everything was new and she probably should have been quite frightened, she never thought twice about standing up for herself and giving people a piece of her mind.
As the Human Queen, she could literally just sit around all day and not worry about anyone or anything, however that is not who she is. Still wanting to care for people and put her herbalist skills to good use, Luella insists that she helps out in the laboratory and even heals patients in the castle.
Oh, how I want to write pages and pages about the cruel yet handsome King Eldas. However, I would hate to spoil any major parts of the book before you get a chance to read it. Let me just say one thing though, you will love him. You might not think so at the start but trust me.
I found the concept of this book completely interesting and when I saw that it was loosely based on the story of Hades and Persephone I could not resist. This isn’t technically a retelling however it does have the same kind of idea.
Sometimes I worry that standalones are not enough with these types of stories however the plot was very carefully laid out so you got all of the information you needed and still felt satisfied with the pacing of the story. The book was rich with the world’s history, had intriguing characters and a romance which is sure to capture the heart of all readers.