Book Review: Enchanting the Elven Mage (Kingdoms of Lore #1)

Title: Enchanting the Elven Mage

Author: Alisha Klapheke

Pub. Date: January 15, 2021

Pages: 367

Pub: Not Listed

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Retellings

Rating: ⭐️⭐️


A human princess. An elven warrior. A marriage that might kill them both.

Today, Aury learned three things: One, she is the princess. Two, she might be a powerful mage. And three, a brutal mountain elf is on his way to the kingdom for their marriage.

Aury can’t escape her newly revealed royal parents quickly enough. If they think she is going to marry some vicious elven warrior mage, they have another thing coming. They claim she’s a mage too, but she has yet to prove it. She heads to the magic military order to get her rune-marked staff and learn everything she can. If she becomes the weapon they need instead of her not-if-she-can-help-it husband, they’ll send the mountain elf packing, right?

If they don’t, she will.

Filip is certain of three truths: One, he is bound to wed a stubborn mule of a princess. Two, the union will give his people the farmland they desperately need. Three, his nightmare of a bride has wild magic that will probably kill him before their wedding day.

But he will die before he gives up on winning her hand.

War is coming, and the first battle will be fought in the heart.

Inspired by Sleeping Beauty, Enchanting the Elven Mage is the first standalone book in the Kingdoms of Lore fantasy romance series and is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Holly Black.

This will be a spoiler free review. I was looking forward to reading this for a while – back before it had released, and I’d stumbled across it. I featured it in one of my Books That Hit My Radar posts.

Unfortunately, this book was a giant miss for me. I don’t think I realized that this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling – and honestly, I think the book would have been much better if it hadn’t. It felt like the book was written, and the author said, what else can I add? And then plopped Sleeping Beauty on top. I also don’t think I realized that this was a standalone, and it was entirely too short for the events to be believable. Everything happened so quickly and it took away from actually caring about the characters.

I didn’t like the MC at all. Aury was annoying. She was whiny, entitled and we’re supposed to feel bad for her because she was mistreated and lied to her whole life.

Mind you, we don’t actually get to really see any mistreatment apart from some snide remarks, or how her real father treats her, so all of her attitude feels unjustified. There was just nothing about her character that endeared me to her. I’m all for an unlikable character – when they’re well done. And I just didn’t think she was well done. In fact, I think the lack of development and depth is what hurt her character the most.

As for the love interest Filip – I liked him. He and his friends were endearing. They were definitely the most interesting. His charisma and charm kind of carries him in the book. He doesn’t have a lot of development and depth either, but he’s at least likable. Being funny doesn’t hurt either.

Everything just happens at a lightning pace in this book. Which is great if you’re looking for a quick read, but it also gives you no time with the story. Or with the characters. Revelations, betrayals, assassinations…they all happen in a blink of an eye and suddenly we are onto the next thing.

I’m bummed that this book was a miss. I had hoped it would be good and that I would immediately move onto the next book. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen, and I’m like 95% sure I won’t be continuing this series. Like always, I won’t tell you not to read this book – you should definitely form your own opinions. But I don’t think you’re missing out on much. There are better fantasy retellings out there. But if you want a quick KU read – feel free and let me know what you think!

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