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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 warr 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.


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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 warr 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.

30 review for Enchanting the Elven Mage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    DNF 53% Wouldn't say this book is bad per se (kinda liked the Sleeping Beauty retelling aspect) but the writing was a little to YA for me at this point in my reading journey. But if thats your jam then maybe consider this on KU? I will however say, from what I read, that this book's pace is really fast and the story was speeding along pretty dang quick. I felt like I didn't get a lot of time to really get to know the characters before were getting revelations, betrayals, life changing events, and a DNF 53% Wouldn't say this book is bad per se (kinda liked the Sleeping Beauty retelling aspect) but the writing was a little to YA for me at this point in my reading journey. But if thats your jam then maybe consider this on KU? I will however say, from what I read, that this book's pace is really fast and the story was speeding along pretty dang quick. I felt like I didn't get a lot of time to really get to know the characters before were getting revelations, betrayals, life changing events, and assassination attempts one after the other with little time to breath. But like I said- while I wasn't into the writing level that much- if secret backstories, magic, a curse, and an arranged marriage turned possible love match- with a looming war awaiting our mains sounds interesting check it out on KU.

  2. 5 out of 5

    SA Krishnan

    This was an excellent retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. Filip and Aurora were both perfect as the author has taken us to a wonderfully knit world of fairies, magic and adventure. Enjoyed all the characters and their adventures.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tara Grayce

    In Enchanting the Elven Mage, the sparks fly from page one as Aury, the tough and saucy water mage, finds out her parents bargained her away to marriage with a bloodthirsty elven prince. Prince Filip turns out to be as deadly as claimed, yet with a good heart and good looks that draw Aury despite herself. The stakes are high, the action fast-paced, and the romance steamy-sweet. Five stars all the way!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    I really tried to like this book but the main character was such a brat I just couldn’t get into it. She was rightfully upset with her parents for abandoning her to another court and letting her live the way she did - but man she was such a brat. Also I didn’t buy the whole she really wanted to become a princess after one conversation with another girl. I liked Filip the love interest though - he was funny.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Toni Wall

    I received a copy of this book from the author. I’m leaving an honest review. 3.5 stars. The cover is completely gorgeous but the title is slightly misleading. The elf is not the mage and it drove me batty the entire time. But it doesn’t really affect the story so whatever. This is influenced heavily by Sleeping Beauty, with a fun enemies to lovers twist. At times it felt slow and other points seemed to speed on and I did find myself confused by some plot points. But overall it was a nice escapis I received a copy of this book from the author. I’m leaving an honest review. 3.5 stars. The cover is completely gorgeous but the title is slightly misleading. The elf is not the mage and it drove me batty the entire time. But it doesn’t really affect the story so whatever. This is influenced heavily by Sleeping Beauty, with a fun enemies to lovers twist. At times it felt slow and other points seemed to speed on and I did find myself confused by some plot points. But overall it was a nice escapist read. Also, having read a lot of fantasy I spent a decent amount of time wondering where the betrayal would come from. And what happened in the book, in regards to that, actually surprised me. Oh, and there are some delightful side characters. I would definitely read Drago’s story. His snark is great. If you like handsome elven princes, cool water magic, Sleeping Beauty retellings, Enemies to lovers, dragons, and just magic in general you might enjoy this!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Eyre

    This is an awesome sleeping beauty retelling told with a twist or two! Full of action, adventure, fae, elves, mages, dragons and so much more! The world building is just incredible and you can easily visualise all of it and the storyline with its twists is also quite hot and steamy in places and the characters are exciting and intriguing and I so hoped Aurora our human princess and Filip our elf prince would get their HEA. Another fantabulous read from this author that I read in just one sitting This is an awesome sleeping beauty retelling told with a twist or two! Full of action, adventure, fae, elves, mages, dragons and so much more! The world building is just incredible and you can easily visualise all of it and the storyline with its twists is also quite hot and steamy in places and the characters are exciting and intriguing and I so hoped Aurora our human princess and Filip our elf prince would get their HEA. Another fantabulous read from this author that I read in just one sitting!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    At 40% I'm crying uncle. I really tried to push through, but I just don't care enough about any of the characters. The heroine is very unlikable. I know she's had a hard life, but she's very rude, selfish, and immature. She has a very hard time listening to rules and lashes out at everyone. The hero is ok, but so is a cardboard cutout. I think the problem is the fact that we have no real insight to the heroine' supposedly terrible life. It was glossed over in one scene and then mentioned every o At 40% I'm crying uncle. I really tried to push through, but I just don't care enough about any of the characters. The heroine is very unlikable. I know she's had a hard life, but she's very rude, selfish, and immature. She has a very hard time listening to rules and lashes out at everyone. The hero is ok, but so is a cardboard cutout. I think the problem is the fact that we have no real insight to the heroine' supposedly terrible life. It was glossed over in one scene and then mentioned every once in a while. But that's it. So it was hard to empathize with her.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julia Norge

    This enchanting book captured my attention via the lovely cover, and though I really didn't know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading it non-stop. The only let down is that... It's only one book. I wish there was more, so I could learn more about the world and the characters, the history and the legends. All in all, an intriguing world to visit for a few hours. This enchanting book captured my attention via the lovely cover, and though I really didn't know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading it non-stop. The only let down is that... It's only one book. I wish there was more, so I could learn more about the world and the characters, the history and the legends. All in all, an intriguing world to visit for a few hours.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elle Madison

    What a fantastic read! Klapheke never disappoints and this story just continues to prove that! If you’re looking for an escape from the chaos of the world with a steamy enemies to lovers romance, an endearing wine-loving heroine and sexy elven warrior, then this is the book for you! AND it’s a stand-alone, so there is none of the stress of waiting for the next book to come out 🖤

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I’m not sure how to review this? I will keep it simple and say there were parts that I really liked and there were parts where I was bored. The best way I can judge is if I would continue with the series? My answer is no. I don’t think I would.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    I am really conflicted on how to rate this book.... Enchanting the Elven Mage was quite a fun, light YA fantasy. It had Fae, Elves, Mages, Witches and Dragons. A really unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty. This book is about Aury, a girl raised in the Fae court (believing herself to be half-Fae) before her parents come along and say "surprise, you're a human princess and are betrothed to Felip, the Elf Prince. Now let's go save our country." Obviously, Aury is going to be shocked, upset and reluct I am really conflicted on how to rate this book.... Enchanting the Elven Mage was quite a fun, light YA fantasy. It had Fae, Elves, Mages, Witches and Dragons. A really unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty. This book is about Aury, a girl raised in the Fae court (believing herself to be half-Fae) before her parents come along and say "surprise, you're a human princess and are betrothed to Felip, the Elf Prince. Now let's go save our country." Obviously, Aury is going to be shocked, upset and reluctant about this. Her whole life has been a lie and now two strangers show up demanding she sacrifice herself for a country and people she didn't even know she belonged to. Plus, she has to marry an "Evil Elf Prince", who's people are the stuff are nightmares. No thank you, not for this newly-minted princess. Now, although I did enjoy this story I felt it had a few main problems. Namely:The fact it was a stand alone. I felt like so much could have been expanded on! Some of the scenes didn't seem to make sense as the story sometimes jumped from plot point to plot point with little to join and connect them. The Prince's group of friends were great- charming, witty and loyal...but we have no idea how they all met! It could have done with a few backstories to make the reader more involved in the friendships, more connected to the characters. Due to the stand-alone nature of the book I felt the world building could have been expanded on. Everyone believes the Elves to be evil bloody creatures, that's what they are taught but...The Fae Prince is friends with the Elf Prince, so he knows this isn't true? The kingdoms are so close that many people know this is false so, where do these stories come from? Why is there so much hate towards the Elves?? Why does Aury have such a strong prejudice towards them? And I didn't fully grasp why the Wolfyn themselves were fighting, or even WHAT they were. Men? Wolves? A hybrid beast? Aury herself was a bit of a thorn in my side. She was strong, determined and head strong HOWEVER despite constantly insisting she's "not a child", she really acts like one. Yes, you can be angry at you parents for the fact that you were lied to your whole life....but their reasons are understandable, and as an adult you would be able to see that? It was just to protect her so she didn't get killed by the witches curse, so....🤷‍♀️ I really enjoyed Filips character. He was fun, charming, battle skilled and kind. Despite being the second born, he's a natural leader and cares for his people. Go Filip! The Fae people themselves could have also done with a bit more building. Even though Aury was bullied by the Fae for the 19 years of her life living in the fae-court, the reader only briefly gets told this. The 4 main Fae we see in this book are kind and generous, so we never actually see the cruelty of the Fae, we are a gain just told something and are meant to accept it. I just ... I did enjoy this and I feel it had SO MUCH potential, it just could do with a bit more building upon and ironing out. So, if you enjoy a light and easy YA fantasy, sleeping beauty retellings, enemies-to-lovers and don't mind a world that isn't massively well-built, you will hopefully enjoy this book 3.5⭐

  12. 4 out of 5

    cassberrie

    Arranged marriage. Princess wants to forge her own destiny and become a great water mage, but is forced to marry an elven prince. He's a decent fellow. They banter. They fall in love. Overall, it's alright. It's a typical enough story, with the added twist of being a Sleeping Beauty retelling. There's the added bonus of aroace representation. What turned me off the most about this was the somewhat juvenile writing style and the protagonist's brattiness. There were also moments of second-hand emba Arranged marriage. Princess wants to forge her own destiny and become a great water mage, but is forced to marry an elven prince. He's a decent fellow. They banter. They fall in love. Overall, it's alright. It's a typical enough story, with the added twist of being a Sleeping Beauty retelling. There's the added bonus of aroace representation. What turned me off the most about this was the somewhat juvenile writing style and the protagonist's brattiness. There were also moments of second-hand embarrassment. A lot of the elements were so... generic western fantasy that I was bored. A lot of the conflicts were resolved really easily. The interesting part, which would've been the magic training, rushed on by without much exploration. The romance had no stakes, really, since you know exactly where the characters are going. The title's a bit misleading, since the elf and the mage are two different characters, alas.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Sellers

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have to say I was quite torn on how I felt about this book. On the surface, while a bit cheese, it was enjoyable. However, the first ½ of the book felt like it would never end. (No, just me?) Pretty sure it felt that way because there was sooooo much back and forth between the two main characters (MCs) points of view (POV) that there was a lot of retelling from different sides without a lot of movement. And while there is still a lot of back and forth between characters, if you can push throug I have to say I was quite torn on how I felt about this book. On the surface, while a bit cheese, it was enjoyable. However, the first ½ of the book felt like it would never end. (No, just me?) Pretty sure it felt that way because there was sooooo much back and forth between the two main characters (MCs) points of view (POV) that there was a lot of retelling from different sides without a lot of movement. And while there is still a lot of back and forth between characters, if you can push through, then the book starts to pick up the pace with a lot less backtracking every time the characters switch. Side note: I wish the chapters would have been labeled somehow to indicate which character we were with. There were quite a few times I would get lost and have to start the chapter over once I realized who the MC was we were following. ANYWAYS . . . This story is a fun retelling of Sleeping Beauty and it such a fun way!!! Aurora (aka Aury) is a human raised in the Fae Court believing she is half Fae herself when she learns that she is in fact, human. Bummer. But wait—she is not just human, she is a water mage! Cool! And the handsome Price Filip (yes, this spelling did make my eyes roll for an entire book) is an Elf. There are dragons and fighting between enemies and lovers, truly there was so much to love! There was so much uniqueness to this retelling that I almost wish she would have changed the names and gone rouge. There was so much possibility! Alisha Klapheke had so many great ideas that this was truly a world of its own. I would have loved to see it drawn out a little more, but enjoyed the ride! I would have given it four stars for how imaginative it is, but the back and forth between Mrs really threw me and made it a little less enjoyable. Check out my bookish blog for more reviews!

  14. 5 out of 5

    olivia

    3.5; this was a pretty endearing read though it took me a bit to get settled in with the writing, which was sometimes charming and occasionally a little awkward, but by the halfway point, reading this was a breeze. aury comes off as a bit childish and naive in her desire to prove her worth but i ended up quite liking her. admittedly the whole becoming a magelord storyline is a little too easy but well, sometimes you do just want to see your protagonists succeed lol. filip is a sweetheart (and his 3.5; this was a pretty endearing read though it took me a bit to get settled in with the writing, which was sometimes charming and occasionally a little awkward, but by the halfway point, reading this was a breeze. aury comes off as a bit childish and naive in her desire to prove her worth but i ended up quite liking her. admittedly the whole becoming a magelord storyline is a little too easy but well, sometimes you do just want to see your protagonists succeed lol. filip is a sweetheart (and his friends are so loyal, it’s cute) and i loved that the more vulnerable moments in this book actually came in his chapters. if you’re looking for a light fantasy read, i’d recommend giving this a try :)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Kidder

    A Clean Fantasy Romance This cute re-imagining of sleeping beauty puts the fairy tale on its head and turns it inside out. Our princess is tough and strong willed with no love for the parents that his her away with no knowledge of who she was and never bothered to check up on her. So when the not so loving parents show up and tell her she is to be married to an Even Prince and that she has a bit of magic flowing through her veins, she tells them what they can do with it. The story goes on from th A Clean Fantasy Romance This cute re-imagining of sleeping beauty puts the fairy tale on its head and turns it inside out. Our princess is tough and strong willed with no love for the parents that his her away with no knowledge of who she was and never bothered to check up on her. So when the not so loving parents show up and tell her she is to be married to an Even Prince and that she has a bit of magic flowing through her veins, she tells them what they can do with it. The story goes on from there as she learns what she is truly capable of. .

  16. 5 out of 5

    The Swoony Awards

    Nominated for a 2021 Swoony Award, to vote click here: https://tinyurl.com/y593ce67 Nominated for a 2021 Swoony Award, to vote click here: https://tinyurl.com/y593ce67

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pris

    I've been wanting to read this book ever since the author announced it was going to be a fairy tale retelling, and ever since she showed that cover 😍 #amiright? Thus, I'm really glad to say I enjoyed the ride with Aury and Filip and getting to know all this world of humans, water mages, elves, and fae. This is a sort of spin-off from the Dragons Rising series, where every book will be a standalone, and has the author's usual brand of snarky humor/banter, steamy sweet romance, and has some pretty I've been wanting to read this book ever since the author announced it was going to be a fairy tale retelling, and ever since she showed that cover 😍 #amiright? Thus, I'm really glad to say I enjoyed the ride with Aury and Filip and getting to know all this world of humans, water mages, elves, and fae. This is a sort of spin-off from the Dragons Rising series, where every book will be a standalone, and has the author's usual brand of snarky humor/banter, steamy sweet romance, and has some pretty good action/battle scenes. I'd recommend this to fans of this author and/or the Fantasy Romance genre. ~ 4.5 stars Disclaimer: if you're worried you have to start the previous series in order to get this one, rest assured, this one stands perfectly on its own. (With that being said, if you're like me, and have yet to read the fourth or fifth book in that series, then you'll definitely get some mild spoilers.) Content (with spoilers): as mentioned above, the romance is "steamy sweet", meaning passion is shown between the two main characters, but it fades to black before anything too explicit is actually described. Also, this only happens once the main characters are married. Due to this, some language that's present, and violence, the rating is more of a PG-13.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    It’s a little rough. I liked that the actual hero didn’t perpetuate rape culture even if her parents did. Mild spoilers I understand that the heroine uses alcohol to cope with the trauma that her teacher says blocks her talent. I hate the idea that she believes her fear and grief is a “poor attitude” that can be shrugged off and that her abuse trauma is suddenly healed by feeling the water intuitively and euphemistically getting in the zone to bypass doing any grief work to support healing. Auror It’s a little rough. I liked that the actual hero didn’t perpetuate rape culture even if her parents did. Mild spoilers I understand that the heroine uses alcohol to cope with the trauma that her teacher says blocks her talent. I hate the idea that she believes her fear and grief is a “poor attitude” that can be shrugged off and that her abuse trauma is suddenly healed by feeling the water intuitively and euphemistically getting in the zone to bypass doing any grief work to support healing. Aurora could be actually dealing with trauma by talking about it to desensitize it, or writing about it to make sense of what happened and then she could stand up for herself by acknowledging that her abuse is not okay and confronting the abuser in a safe way. She could admonish the Agate Queen diplomatically for allowing ongoing abuse. Then she could create a tangible memorial to honor what she lost so that she can let it go. Instead, she never explains what happened in her own words to take power back and make sense of what happened. Her maids promise revenge that she never believes will occur and the issue is never discussed again or resolved. If the author doesn’t want to deal with Aurora’s trauma then it shouldn’t be the declared key that blocks her power. Further, the mythology is shallow and exists to provide metaphorical descriptions of a character’s appearance or add depth to the expression of a feeling or various statements. The polygynous religion offers cheap symbolism and a veneer of culture devoid of spiritual meaning. The theology has nothing to say about dealing with evil or building character by setting safe boundaries and protecting yourself and others. This is because the fake religions in the book are based on people who accrued power instead of being based on God, who knows how to use power in love to support others to love the God who loves them, to love themselves, and to love others. Real theology has depth that addresses injustice using action that sets people free and allows them to face the consequences of their actions in responding to the problem of evil. Christian theology clarifies that the fruit of the Spirit is self-control so coercion based on fear and economic power is not okay because Christ set people free for freedom. Aurora should be able to stand up for herself when her maids deny that freedom exists, but she can’t because her fake mythology doesn’t give her the theological vocabulary to protect herself or others. Her fake mythology is a symbolic accessory that doesn’t give her the spiritual tools to do anything or change her life in a meaningful way. The story line is a little clunky. Aurora’s parents set up a false dilemma where people die and starve if she doesn’t agree to a coerced union and the resulting marital rape required to produce an heir to avoid allowing a tyrant to inherit the kingdom. It’s a forced plot as both allies need one another to live, meaning an army for farmland does not have to be secured by a marriage and Aurora could court a person of her choosing and have or adopt an heir to avoid the evil tyrant. *TRIGGER WARNING* No rape culture glorifying, minimizing reports of threats, or rationalizing away confessed abuse is necessary. Random, gratuitous violence is also unnecessary and does not prove someone is strong enough to rule, only crass enough to torture based on suspicion instead of having the patience to gather evidence (such as the fact that old traps would have erosion marks, old wood, and also fail to cover themselves up). Three stars because the hero doesn’t attempt to coerce the heroine or rape her. The book is relatively free of profanity, aside from a few profane words with different spelling and some coarse jokes. The love making scenes are clean. There are loose threads blocking HEA. The abuse in the Agate court is never admonished. Aurora still must address her grief, deal with her trauma, and decide how to confront her abusers and establish a non-abusive, working relationship with the court, and not just one person in it who chose to be kind. Next, the plotting, racist, soldiers are never rehabilitated, express newfound loyalty, or removed from the army. Then, the generational enemy is undefeated, an ongoing threat that requires Aurora to be available to fight on the front lines so she can die at any time and so can her husband. Last, the hypocritical witch posing as the deity of love is never dealt with to stop her from casting another curse, brought to trial or exposed as the charlatan she is. This would allow people to understand that real love respects the freedom of others and love always protects, so no matter how often they go to her she will never be able to provide love for them because she doesn’t know what it is. The book offers no concrete way to deal with ongoing evil, has no idea what love is, and doesn’t understand how to refute hypocrisy. The HEA is tenuous and that doesn’t provide a lot of motivation to read more books by this author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Chen

    Hmm... I'm not sure how exactly I feel about this book. There were several times I was seriously tempted to stop reading it, but I made it through. What I liked: Aury is independent and loves her freedom. She fought fiercely for it, refusing to go into her arranged marriage without a fight. Despite that though, she is also compassionate and does understand her responsibility to her kingdom. There was a particular scene where (view spoiler)[ she played her parents like fiddles. She basically mani Hmm... I'm not sure how exactly I feel about this book. There were several times I was seriously tempted to stop reading it, but I made it through. What I liked: Aury is independent and loves her freedom. She fought fiercely for it, refusing to go into her arranged marriage without a fight. Despite that though, she is also compassionate and does understand her responsibility to her kingdom. There was a particular scene where (view spoiler)[ she played her parents like fiddles. She basically manipulated them into letting her go to Darkfloet, when they wanted the wedding to happen immediately. (hide spoiler)] Also, I feel like her feelings toward her parents are actually realistic. (view spoiler)[ Because if it were real life, most people would have a hard time forgiving their parents when said parents abandoned them to be tormented and didn't make it a priority to even visit their kid. Just sayin'. (hide spoiler)] I do wish there was more screen time for the royal parents because their characters felt very flat, especially in comparison to the amount of effort clearly poured into the two main characters. Filip was also an ok character. I don't know, I just don't feel that he was a particularly special male lead. I forgot his name almost immediately after finishing the book, and that was partially because to me, the name didn't really fit the character. I get that this book is inspired by Sleeping Beauty, but "Filip" just didn't fit at all. Filip is shown to be sensual and flirtatious. His name, on the other hand, just made me think of a put-together-modest-prince type. I liked knowing that he wouldn't hold onto Aury against her will, shown when (view spoiler)[ he divorced her after seeing the magelord scroll (hide spoiler)] but I hated that he wouldn't leave her alone when she stated time and again that she wouldn't marry him. He was a bit of a playboy in the beginning, but that behavior stopped once he basically fell in love with Aury at first sight. Now. What I didn't like: The insta-love First of all, I don't believe in love at first sight. I believe in lust at first sight or attraction at first sight, but love is deeper than that and can't happen instantly. It seemed to me as if Filip was "in love" with Aury because of her looks. He constantly narrated things regarding her looks and I can't remember a single time where he said good things regarding her character (view spoiler)[ (like, "I'm in love with her because she's so strong" or "Her magic is so impressive", nope, it was things like "...blah blah blah luscious curves... beautiful hair...." or "... she literally hates my guts and is going to eat me alive...") Nothing good about her character. (hide spoiler)] ALSO, Aury is at first so adamant about not marrying and her freedom and not falling in love with the elf prince. (view spoiler)[ She sees his abs like one time and all that basically goes out the window and the elf prince is all she can think about. (hide spoiler)] What??!?!? Not gonna lie Aury, I'm more than a little disappointed in you. I like my heroines with a little more backbone (yes, shocker, even in the face of hot guys!), thank you very much. The thing I hated the most. The (view spoiler)[ divorce (hide spoiler)] . It literally just felt like it was added to create some unnecessary drama and was quite poorly done. The whole time Aury's saying to Filip, "I'm not going to get married", he ignores her but the one time Aury does (view spoiler)[ want to be with him, he goes and divorces her because "its what she wants and she just thinks of me as a guy to kiss when she feels like it" and COMPLETELY disregarding everything he knows about Aury. This is NOT a K-drama. (hide spoiler)] And I think this unnecessary was poorly done because it lasted all of one chapter (or two, but still). The fact that it lasted so short was a relief and also not because I did want a happily ever after, but one that was well thought out and not simply cobbled together sloppily because that was easier. Anyway, as you can tell, I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    3.4 Stars I enjoyed this retelling of Sleeping Beauty especially since I've found her to be the most lame of all the Disney princesses (just being honest here), but there are some ways I thought this story could've been better. There was a lot going on, to the point where I think the plot lost some of it's punch. For example, (view spoiler)[ I was really excited about the introduction of dragons. When Filip and Aury rode the dragon youngling, I was excited about where the story was going, however, 3.4 Stars I enjoyed this retelling of Sleeping Beauty especially since I've found her to be the most lame of all the Disney princesses (just being honest here), but there are some ways I thought this story could've been better. There was a lot going on, to the point where I think the plot lost some of it's punch. For example, (view spoiler)[ I was really excited about the introduction of dragons. When Filip and Aury rode the dragon youngling, I was excited about where the story was going, however, all they did was a loop and hop off on a roof. What? That's it?! Other than the last battle, the dragon "Jewel" served more as a device and less as a cherished character. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. (hide spoiler)] There were exciting aspects of this world that didn't get fully built out. I think the author was trying to do too much in a short time span. I really like reading about strong female characters like Aurora who fight in battles and wield magic, but for me, that didn't feel earned in this story. To go from being a (view spoiler)[helpless half fae who gets picked on by the fae court to being the captain on an entire army in three weeks?! That would take some serious suspension of disbelief. I'm not buying it. Now if she had been raised as some kind of warrior/mercenary in the fae court, I could've found her battle prowess more believable. Also, why did the Fae Queen have to be such a bully? If another kingdom is trusting you to secretly raise their daughter, you'd think she'd be a little nicer to girl, right? Also, I don't know why Weiran is around. At first, I thought maybe he would make up a point in the love triangle, but his relationship was purely platonic. Which is fine, but I felt he, like Jewel the dragon, was completely under utilized as a character. Also, all the parents in this book are horrible. Maybe this is why Disney always off the parents... (hide spoiler)] Oh and another thing! You can't just say Gytha linked her arm in Aury’s. “Elves are known for their skill in the art of love.” and then not give us details of their wedding night. Why are they known for it? What makes them so great in the sack? However, if the author wants to keep it clean (respect), then don't tease us with this and not deliver. I do have to say though I LOVED Filip's home boys. The camaraderie and their playful quips were so much fun. Despite the dialogue sounding more like 2021, than some fictional kingdom, I enjoyed a lot of funny quotes. Their friend Marius had been caught sneaking a ride on Sorina’s best mare. When Sorina had found out, he’d been forced to ride a donkey to his own wedding. “Oh, the donkey. Gods in the sky, that bray—” “Sorry to disappoint you,” a voice made of velvet said, “but if you prefer old men, I’d be happy to inform the kingdom that the deal is off.” He had winked! He was flirting with her despite the horror that was her face. The nerve! “Godwin reminds me how long it’s been since I stabbed someone.” “The king can shove off.” It looks like the next book will be based around Prince Werian and the cobbler's niece Rhianne. He was a pretty vanilla character in this book so I'm not sure if I'll jump into that story or not, but we'll see.

  21. 5 out of 5

    BiblioKalen

    Entering into the world of Lore, Faerie kingdoms and Mountain Elves - we join the adventures of our orphaned, misfit turned human princess of Lore, Aurora (also known affectionately as Aury) and her swoon worthy, axe-wielding, soon-to-be mountain elf husband, Filip. Their story is full of banter, romance, perseverance and interesting escapades. From the get go, I genuinely loved how the author incorporated a lot similarities from the original fairytale into her own story, such as the names for t Entering into the world of Lore, Faerie kingdoms and Mountain Elves - we join the adventures of our orphaned, misfit turned human princess of Lore, Aurora (also known affectionately as Aury) and her swoon worthy, axe-wielding, soon-to-be mountain elf husband, Filip. Their story is full of banter, romance, perseverance and interesting escapades. From the get go, I genuinely loved how the author incorporated a lot similarities from the original fairytale into her own story, such as the names for the main characters to the key conflicts within the plot; ie. Aurora must not touch spinning wheel or she shall fall into an eternal sleep that can only be awaken by a true loves kiss (And yes! This does play a very interesting part in this story!). There is a significant portion of background and world building within the first part of the novel, but after about 20% into the novel everything really begins to pick up. As Emma Hamm has said, I began to "lose myself" within the story and "the rest of the world began to fall away". As the story progressed, there is a fair amount of steam and buildup within the relationship and felt very young adult friendly. It reminded me of the arranged marriage/relationship in other similar novels, like that of Aren and Lara in The Bridge Kindgom series by Danielle L. Jensen. Very similar banter, sexual tension, and initial unwillingness of the characters. However! My only gripe was that Aury did come off pretty immature at times for someone who was supposed to be of marrying age and had been through so much. I felt that attitude didn't always fit with her background and story, but the character did develop as the story progressed and had redeeming moments along the way. Overall, Prince Filip and the band of boys was a huge plus for me! I am really into bromance and guy squads in my romance or fantasy novels, and this one did not disappoint! The author had really great jokes and flow between these characters, and their friendship felt really established and natural within the story. Plus! The characters were genuinely supportive and integrated into the main plot of the story - which I always appreciate fleshed out side characters. Aurora's girl squad (of trio of fairy godmothers - as is the was also a fun group of side characters, but I didn't find myself getting as attached to them. The relationship between Aurora and her three, badass faery sidekicks was very new to them and the readers, so I'm not surprised that it still felt somewhat shallow, but definitely looking forward to more development there in future novels! The characters themselves were hilarious! This is only Book One within a trilogy, so I know there is still a lot more to come with this story! I am honestly immediately chomping at the bit for Book Two after finishing Book One! Definitely give this a shot if you're looking for a quick and easy fairytale re-telling or a new series to become invested in. I can't wait to see what more our Alisha has in her hat of tricks and where she will take us in the next one! I was provided a free Advanced Reader Copy by Alisha Klapheke and am voluntarily leaving this review with my own honest opinions and thoughts.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Note: I received this book from the author and I voluntarily give this review, it is my honest opinion. Alisha Klapheke's new series, Kingdom of Lore, starts with Enchanting the Elven Mage. This is a dual point-of-view epic fantasy that is filled with magic, drama, and adventure and is a standalone. This is the first book I've read by Alisha and I am hooked. I absolutely loved this story, a Sleeping Beauty retelling turned into an epic fantasy that is filled with all sorts of supernatural, how co Note: I received this book from the author and I voluntarily give this review, it is my honest opinion. Alisha Klapheke's new series, Kingdom of Lore, starts with Enchanting the Elven Mage. This is a dual point-of-view epic fantasy that is filled with magic, drama, and adventure and is a standalone. This is the first book I've read by Alisha and I am hooked. I absolutely loved this story, a Sleeping Beauty retelling turned into an epic fantasy that is filled with all sorts of supernatural, how could I not loved this book. The story is told from Aurora, who is a water mage, point of view, and Filip, an elven prince who is determined to win her heart. Aurora (Aury) is strong, stubborn, quick-witted, caring, and brave. She is determined to have her freedom and weave her own fate. While Filip is a warrior who is kind, caring, romantic, and most of all a dutiful prince. These two characters killed me, they were so good together, the banter, the flirting, and confiding in each other was great. Yet they infuriated me so much, mostly Aury, who was so stubborn she couldn't get out of her own way to realize that something she has been missing her whole life was right in front of her. However I did love that she set goals for herself, to help her claim the life she wants and while they may seem impossible she still tried, she still worked her but off to make things happen. Filip was a dream book boyfriend he was funny, sweet, caring, flirting, an expert fighter, he understood that his life was not his own and was willing to do anything for his people but most of all his willingness to love, it made me swoon. I love how he thought of Aury, tried to be there for her, and actually tried to work things out. The side characters need a big shout-out in this book. Aury's parents are not people I like, they aren't people that Aury likes. The power battle between Aury and her father King Athellore was something of legend. Aurora was not afraid and would not be cowed by her father and I loved that she didn't bend to his will. Along with Filip's and Aurora's individual group that support and care for each royal added a deeper layer to the story. This is the first time that I have ever come across a Sleeping Beauty retelling and it was awesome, Alisha has to be a genius because she did such an amazing job. While the story was totally original it still had a fairytale type quality to it, it also most definitely felt like Sleeping Beauty. There were so many parallels blended in with the new I couldn't help but be entranced by the story and dying to figure out what was going to happen next. Between the power plays, the battle of wills, crazy politics, magic, supernaturals, fairytale essence, and romance Enchanting the Elven Mage held me captive. Alisha has made a fan out of me, while I am waiting for the next book in this world, I plan on tackling some of Alisha other books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Graham

    3.5 stars Firstly, I enjoyed this book! It was a good book, and I would recommend it to people who love retellings of fairytales. Now, even though this book was somewhat enjoyable, I have some things to critique. ********************************************************************** Below MAY include some very small spoilers, though I think I did a good job of not revealing much of the plot. ********************************************************************** The main character named Aury is REALLY 3.5 stars Firstly, I enjoyed this book! It was a good book, and I would recommend it to people who love retellings of fairytales. Now, even though this book was somewhat enjoyable, I have some things to critique. ********************************************************************** Below MAY include some very small spoilers, though I think I did a good job of not revealing much of the plot. ********************************************************************** The main character named Aury is REALLY. REALLY. REAAAALLLYYY. Pretty. The prince, Filip, is REALLY. REALLY. REAAAALLLYYY. Handsome. I don't know, I just feel like every chapter mentioned it so many times, and as the book went on, it started to become boring. I understand that they were both the godliest people in looks, but do you have to say it so many times? I also think that the romance was very... interesting. I feel like the characters only liked the physical aspects of one another and not even a smidge of their personality. I keep thinking back to the story, and the only reason I could think of as to why they love each other is because of looks. They keep mentioning how they were drawn to each other because of hair, eyes, body shape, scent, etc. ********************************************************************** RECOMMENDATIONS (100% spoiler free) ********************************************************************** All in all, I would give this book a 3.5-star rating. If you love these types of romances, go ahead and give it a read. Even if you don't like these romances, I would still urge you to give this book a try. There are very enjoyable aspects of this book. The plot is amazing, and I love the unique spin that Alisha Klapheke put on this fairytale. :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anais (atrailofpages)

    I love retellings, so I was excited to see that this was supposed to be a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and knew I’d want to read it. I thought the story was okay. I feel very neutral about it. It was okay and it also was not that great. It was definitely an in between for me. I really liked Aury. I love that she wanted to make her own choices, especially since so many of them were taken away from her. She really put her foot down many times, even if it meant angering her father the king, or disr I love retellings, so I was excited to see that this was supposed to be a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and knew I’d want to read it. I thought the story was okay. I feel very neutral about it. It was okay and it also was not that great. It was definitely an in between for me. I really liked Aury. I love that she wanted to make her own choices, especially since so many of them were taken away from her. She really put her foot down many times, even if it meant angering her father the king, or disrupting the potential alliance with the elves. Maybe it was a bit selfish at times, but I mean she grew up in a rather hostile environment only to find out she never had to, it was for her own “protection”. I mean I would have been rebellious as well. And then her reaction around Filip was hilarious! It’s like she had no idea what to do or how to act around him, and it made me giggle. I may be a bit biased when it comes to elves. Ever since Lord of the Rings, I feel like elves are meant to be regal and snobbish, and not as sassy as they are in this book. That being said, I did like Filip and his friends. I loved the dynamic there how they treated him like a normal person, and yet respected him when it came to princely matters, they always deferred to him, but also protected him like he was their brother. And with Aury being awkward around him, Filip knew, so it was great to see how he would take that to his advantage 😏 Overall, the story was good. I wish there had been more Sleeping Beauty elements to it. There were hints of the story throughout, but it seemed to all of a sudden be added to the end of the story like it was more of an afterthought than the actual story. Which caused the ending to feel a bit rushed to me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars Overall this was a really fun retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I thought it was a new and fresh take on the fairytale to use humans, fae and elves as part of the retelling. For me, the first half of the book was just ok and then it really started to pick up and keep me engaged. I will admit, I wanted to wring Aury's neck for a good portion of the book. She started out so stubborn, rude, immature and if I am ho I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars Overall this was a really fun retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I thought it was a new and fresh take on the fairytale to use humans, fae and elves as part of the retelling. For me, the first half of the book was just ok and then it really started to pick up and keep me engaged. I will admit, I wanted to wring Aury's neck for a good portion of the book. She started out so stubborn, rude, immature and if I am honest, was a complete brat. She was extremely self centered and rushes into things without any regard of how her actions or how the things she says, effects those around her. I get it, she is upset that up until now her entire life has been a lie and now she is being forced into a marriage to someone she doesn't know but I don't think she needed to act the way she acted. Her temper tantrums got a bit old after a while. Let me tell you, there is a scene where Filip calls her out on her behavior and I cheered! I enjoyed Filip's character and I appreciate that he was not an overbearing, pushy male character. He understood Aury's frustrations but was also loyal to helping his people. I am giving this book 3.5 stars because while I overall enjoyed the story, I felt that problems/conflicts in the book were resolved way to easily. Maybe that has something to do with it being a fairytale retelling but it felt a little to perfectly wrapped up and tied with a bow for me. It was a good start to this series and I am interested in checking out the next book in the series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Fascinating retelling of Sleeping Beauty Hiding the infant princess in the fae kingdom until she came safely "of age", is just one of the ways this retelling is unique. Aurora, or Aury, as she prefers, is so shocked by the revelation of her heritage that she adopts a totally self-serving attitude going forward. She doesn't want to do anything anyone else wants her to do; she wants to be free to make all decisions on her own. That creates many problems, especially when her parents want to take her Fascinating retelling of Sleeping Beauty Hiding the infant princess in the fae kingdom until she came safely "of age", is just one of the ways this retelling is unique. Aurora, or Aury, as she prefers, is so shocked by the revelation of her heritage that she adopts a totally self-serving attitude going forward. She doesn't want to do anything anyone else wants her to do; she wants to be free to make all decisions on her own. That creates many problems, especially when her parents want to take her to her wedding! She really got in her own way so many times it was frustrating! It was to had Aury didn't have good relations with her parents, they could have been better if she'd forgiven them, recognizing their desire and parents to protect her, even if there was also an ulterior motive. Who can know the pressures of a monarch trying to protect their kingdom?! And then there's Filip, a proud, dutiful, but kind, caring, fun-loving, and also long-suffering mountain elf prince who bears up under extensive prejudice amongst humans to honor his country's needs. And Aury is a primary culprit in persisting in her prejudices, although she uses it to keep Filip at arms' length of course, only realizing her error toward the end, when Filip's great character is shown through his actions. I was really rooting for him throughout the book, and was glad he at least his parent's support had Both MCs grew to respect and finally love each other. The witch that initiated her curse on Aurora/Aury is interesting, and uses a unique method of ultimately implementing it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This book is a fresh and exciting contribution to the YA genre, with a unique story and fascinating characters. It is the first in a new series from the author, but could be read as a standalone with a satisfying ending and no cliff hanger. The story follows Aurora Rose, or Aury as she's referred to fondly, as she discovers everything she thought she new about her life was a lie. We follow her as she navigates finding out who she really is, fights to become who she wants to be under her own terms This book is a fresh and exciting contribution to the YA genre, with a unique story and fascinating characters. It is the first in a new series from the author, but could be read as a standalone with a satisfying ending and no cliff hanger. The story follows Aurora Rose, or Aury as she's referred to fondly, as she discovers everything she thought she new about her life was a lie. We follow her as she navigates finding out who she really is, fights to become who she wants to be under her own terms, and discovers that life is complicated and never straight forward, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Aury is a strong willed sassy lady and Fillip a real sweetheart. I became completely invested in their story, and would happily read about their entire life if the author were to write it! In my option this book deserves a heap of praise and has brought as much joy with its independent female lead as the likes of Throne of Glass, Serpent and Dove, and Bone Criers Moon. The book was well written, the world building easy to understand and a wonderfully enchanting magic system. My only critique would be that the end felt a little rushed, with the final elements concluding in the last 5% of the book, everything you wanted was there but it happened very fast. I'd of liked a more drawn out ending with more detail, though by this point I was reading at pace to find out what happened and was not disappointed.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    I adore retellings and I realised that I hadn't read too many Sleeping Beauty ones, and so when I heard about Enchanting the Elven Mage I just knew I was going to love it. And I was so right! I loved everything about this standalone, Aury and Filip were just such fun characters to read about, and I loved how fiery Aury was, and that she wouldn't back down to anyone. I loved the focus on blooming into to who she wanted to become. The worldbuilding was absolutely incredible, and I need to know mor I adore retellings and I realised that I hadn't read too many Sleeping Beauty ones, and so when I heard about Enchanting the Elven Mage I just knew I was going to love it. And I was so right! I loved everything about this standalone, Aury and Filip were just such fun characters to read about, and I loved how fiery Aury was, and that she wouldn't back down to anyone. I loved the focus on blooming into to who she wanted to become. The worldbuilding was absolutely incredible, and I need to know more about the world, and I am super excited that we are getting another book about one of the side characters in this one. I really liked that character and cannot wait to learn more about them. I recently adored A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova and this definitely gave me similar vibes, so if you loved that one that I would definitely recommend this one! The pacing is perfect, hitting the mark between me not wanting to put it down and yet having the time to explore the world we find ourselves in. The main characters were unique and interesting and the little details woven in as a nod to the original story were fantastic. If you love retellings with determined female protagonists who are not going to back down no matter what, they you are really going to love Enchanting the Elven Mage.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lana

    Aury is a half-blood or so she thought whilst dwelling in the Fae Queen's dark realm till the human King and Queen came to visit and turned her whole world upside down. Seems she was a human, a royal heir with the potential of being a powerful water mage but she was also cursed by the matchweaver. She had been cursed when her parents had promised her hand in marriage to Prince Filip of Belaur, the mountain elves kingdom, without consulting the matchweaver, who took revenge by cursing her. Now he Aury is a half-blood or so she thought whilst dwelling in the Fae Queen's dark realm till the human King and Queen came to visit and turned her whole world upside down. Seems she was a human, a royal heir with the potential of being a powerful water mage but she was also cursed by the matchweaver. She had been cursed when her parents had promised her hand in marriage to Prince Filip of Belaur, the mountain elves kingdom, without consulting the matchweaver, who took revenge by cursing her. Now her real parents came to claim her as her wedding was planned in order to forge an alliance with the mountain elves. However Aury was headstrong and felt no obligation towards the parents who had given her up when she was still a babe. She vowed she would never marry the savage mountain elf, basing her ideas of who he was on the prejudices held by humans but that was till she met Filip. He fell in love with her on sight and went out of his way to woo her. I really enjoyed this beautiful love story, a romantic re-telling of sleeping beauty, the fairy tale, and I love the magic and the kick ass heroine and her kind and strong mountain elf who would do anything to gain her love and respect. I am dying to read further into their story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aizlynne

    This is such a great retelling of Sleeping Beauty. All the main elements are there from the classic story as well as some nods to Disney's version (Prince Filip). There is so much that elevates this from a retelling to a re-imagining. The inclusion of fae, elves, and dragons into the story brings a lot of depth to pull from as Aury has to interact with each race. Her determination to be in charge of her own destiny is commendable after the way she was raised, but it does raise a question. Is rej This is such a great retelling of Sleeping Beauty. All the main elements are there from the classic story as well as some nods to Disney's version (Prince Filip). There is so much that elevates this from a retelling to a re-imagining. The inclusion of fae, elves, and dragons into the story brings a lot of depth to pull from as Aury has to interact with each race. Her determination to be in charge of her own destiny is commendable after the way she was raised, but it does raise a question. Is rejecting a situation simply because it was thrust on you the only way to take back control? What if you, instead, choose it yourself after careful thought? Does that still mean that you were not in control of that situation simply because of how it was initially presented? The interactions between Filip and Aury run the gambit from sweet to aggravating to hilarious. The character development of both MCs is quite enthralling. Though this is a stand alone, I can't wait to read the next book in the Kingdom of Lore series.

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