Book Review

Book Review: A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1) by Elisa Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 338 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: November 6th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

ROMANTIC.

This was pretty good! I enjoyed some aspects, but had some issues with others. Overall, I’m excited to see where this series goes. I love Elisa Kova’s work and was definitely excited for a new series from her.

I was smitten with Eldas. My brooding, dark king with a soft side. His character development went beautifully over the course of a shorter standalone. He was the gem between him and Luella. Because Luella, Luella annoyed me. Ugh. I liked her on and off throughout. Her naivety (read: stubbornness) about many things made wish she would catch on a touch quicker. Luella communicated well, but not at times she should have that came off as just an attempt to lengthen the story.

The story was great. I love elves and faeries. I am always here for a fantasy romance. I enjoyed the quick pace and that it didn’t feel too rushed. The romance was developed well and I definitely was shouting at my book by the time we got to the there’s only one bed scene. I would have really loved even more scenes with Eldas and Luella because they had great chemistry and banter that I couldn’t get enough of. This made the middle kind of drag and have some sub-plots that took too long to workout, but otherwise, a good read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few low detailed love scenes
  • Violence: drug addiction, physical altercations, magic attacks, animal attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆ 
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 625 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Release Date: April 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen.

UH OH.

First two books I could have easily handed out more than 5 stars.

This one? 3 stars. An it was fine, kinda read.

I am still really into Poppy and Cas. They’re a great team, they do have chemistry and seem to work together well. I love Kieran and the rest of the wolven crew. All good things.

Nowwwww, where my issues lie.

I started noticing the flaws my friends who have read (and didn’t love) these books have mentioned. One of them being the repetitive nature of literally everything. Poppy’s inner monologue goes on and on and on and one point until I’m exhausted by her thoughts. And if you thought ACOSF had too many random sex scenes, then definitely don’t read this because I thought all of the sex was so RANDOM. Like run off in a corner, do it, then come back and keep going. I don’t know. It felt really forced and really didn’t love that.

My last big issue was that I felt like NOTHIGN HAPPENED. There was high action right from the start then high action right at the end. Between there wasn’t a lot of anything.

Okay okay, one more: WHY WERE NORMAL MONTHS USED? Poppy and Cas’s birthdays are apparently in April in December…in a made up fantasy world. That took me out of the book so fast, I’m clearly still bothered by this ridiculous notion.

Maybe if these books were a lot shorter they would seem like they were holding more substance. I’m still planning on reading the next one. I’m invested enough to continue, but I have some expectations for how it goes down. The ending was pretty predictable and left me wanting more. I’m curious how this is supposed to go on for 3/4 more books?

I’m hopeful. Some middle books are on the lower end of a rating for me. I loooove Cas the most. And as long as things work out there I think there’s an upward trend in sight.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses to multiple open door scenes
  • Violence: murder, physical altercations, pretty gory/bloody

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores #3) by Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 576 pages
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: April 27th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY

Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.

His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark—and in doing so, risks starting a war.

BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN

Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.

Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves—or put them all in their graves.

Thank you to Tor Teen and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

I seriously love this series. If I could convey this book in one word it would be: STRESSFUL.

I would have to put the book down and chill out my racing heart because everything in this book will set you on edge. IN THE BEST WAY. The daring adventure that both Teriana/Marcus and Killian/Lydia go on are absolutely captivating. I had to know what happened next. I NEEDED to know what happened next. This is easily becoming one of my favorite YA Fantasy series.

The ANGST on both sides had me reeling. Yesssss, you get those soft and sweet moments, but wow did the general will they/won’t they leave me excited for future books. I love both of these ships and am incredibly impressed at how well each character is built. There was more background stories added to everyone as well which helped me attach myself to them too.

Talk about JAW DROPPING MOMENTS. Things I did not see coming in any capacity that change the entire landscape of the story. MY FAVORITE. Ah, I love being surprised in this way. It only amped up the setting and the harrowing situations everyone kept finding themselves in. [Seriously, can my loves catch a break?]

I really recommend this series 100 times over if you love fantasy. These are a slower build, but have so much action it doesn’t feel that way. I love the Roman-esque inspired nature of the world and the magic system is fascinating. I can’t say enough good things about the Dark Shores series. I’m a forever fan of Danielle L. Jensen’s writing.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: Kisses to little detailed brief scenes (mostly closed door)
  • Violence: physical altercations, battles, weaponry, animal attacks, corruption

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Book Review

Book Review: A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 448 pages
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…

“Cat” Catalia Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

NOT SUBTLE.

That’s the biggest takeaway I got from this. And I am also realizing, I like things a lot more subtle.

Everything started off really well. I love the setting and environment. The mix of Greek gods and mythology is always fascinating to me and it’s no different here. I would have loved some more world-building because I occasionally got lost in the hierarchies of different realms.

I looooved this audio book narration though. Great changes between characters and I really fell into the sweeping way the narrator told the story.

The romance between Griffin and Cat was in your face from the beginning. I was hoping for a bit more will they/won’t they, but alas that was not the case. Within my personal tastes it was also verrrrry steamy and I found myself skipping sections to get back to the story. And I didn’t love Griffin by the end either. His intensity and what I felt was a lack of willingness to even hear Cat’s side of the story really rubbed me the wrong way. He was insistent about HIS wants and desires and I felt Cat getting neglected.

I don’t plan on picking up the next one. This was a difference in preferences for me so don’t let my review hold you back. It was great writing and the story is woven in there.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: everything from kisses to multiple very open door/descriptive scenes
  • Violence: murder, battles/skirmishes, physical altercations, magical attacks, creature attacks
  • Trigger warnings: abusive parents

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