Book Review: A Dance With the Fae Prince by Elise Kova

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Married to Magic, #2
Age Category: New Adult
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publish Date: August 19, 2021
Print Length: 344

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Official Synopsis

Cinderella meets THE CRUEL PRINCE in this stand-alone fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the prince of the fae.

She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?

A Dance with the Fae Prince is a complete, stand-alone novel, inspired by the tales of Psyche and Eros, as well as Cinderella, with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for romantic fantasy readers who enjoyed of A Court of Silver Flames and An Enchantment of Ravens. A Dance with the Fae Prince features a slow-burn romance, swoon-worthy couple, and steaminess that ranges from simmering to sizzling.

My Review

I picked up A Dance With the Fae Prince after enjoying Kova’s A Deal With the Elf King. It’s the second standalone novel in a related collection called Married to Magic. I expected another enemies-to-lovers read, but this installment actually differs quite a bit from A Deal With the Elf King. Katria, the main female character, has been gaslit for years by her stepmother (Joyce) and one of her stepsisters after her father’s death. They squandered whatever money Katria’s father had, which lead to Katria serving her adopted family and upkeeping the manor by herself. Essentially penniless, Joyce sells Katria’s hand in marriage for a sizeable sum to the mysterious Lord Fenwood. Though apprehensive about the circumstances, Katria also sees this as a new start away from her toxic family.

Katria has a quiet stubborness burning within her. But because of her mistreatment, she is outwardly more meek and eager to please. She hesitates to express her true needs and wants. This, in my mind, is the only similarity to A Court of Silver Flames, which the official blurb mentions is similar to Fae Prince. Both books present and work through the themes of inner healing, accepting love, learning to trust, and finding/accepting friendship. I admit that I was a little frustrated and bored with Katria at times. I had to keep reminding myself that she has to work through some trauma. Kova wrote Katria’s emotional response and evolution well, but I personally found her less relatable than Luella in Elf King.

Fae Prince has the same arranged marriage trope as Elf King, but it’s not another enemies-to-lovers story. It’s closer to a friends-to-lovers story born out of circumstance and curiosity. Even though Katria is now Lord Fenwood’s wife, she isn’t allowed to lay eyes on him. Craving companionship, she eventually persuades him to have a nightly fireside chat with her, back to back, so as to respect his wishes. Katria learns he intends to go on a dangerous mission from which he might not return. Not wanting to be left alone should he die, Katria follows him and suddenly finds herself in a completely different realm.

In all aspects–writing, plot, characters, spice–I found Fae Prince to be a tamer story than Elf King. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I liked the first stand-alone in this collection more. Some of the dialogue felt circular and probably could have been removed at no detriment to the plot. I also thought the timing of one of the spice scenes was odd. It reminded me of a certain scene in A Court of Wings and Ruin. If you know, you know.

In summary, Fae Prince is a sweeter and more predictable tale relative to Elf King. This is a comfort read for anyone looking for a happily ever after ending. Expect friends-to-lovers, a slow burn, world- and magic-building in Midscape, fending off assassins, and more. I’m looking forward to the third book, A Duel with the Vampire Lord, in August 2022.

Rating: 3.25
Content warnings: gaslighting, familial (emotional) abuse, death
Reading format: Kindle e-book

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