Sparks, Kerrelyn. How to Love Your Elf. New York: Kensington, 2020.
Paperback | $15.95 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1496730046 | 328 pages | Fantasy Romance
How to Love Your Elf is the first Embraced title under a new publisher, hence the new series title, Embraced by Magic. But upon finishing it, I wondered whether the higher price point and longer wait due to contract stuff while Sparks made the transition were worth it, as this one felt phoned in.
It’s a running joke that lots of fantasy female characters tend to fall into stock types, and while I think this is greatly exaggerated, it is definitely the case for Sorcha. Her defining trait is that she’s supposedly fiery because she’s scarlet haired? Is it my imagination, or did the other girls have more substance than this?
And while the series premise does present a lot of opportunities for hidden identities, I felt the Woodsman wasn’t as well developed to make the reveal of his identity worth the suspense spent on it. And I never felt connected to him in the same way I did to Rupert, the hero of book two, who also has some revelations made about his identity.
I do enjoy the plot developing with the Chameleon, and the involvement of Gwen’s estranged birth mother, bent on revenge. Evil as they are, I wanted a book about them! The chapters from her perspective nearly saved the book for me.
This book isn’t horrible…I did get through it, and it was just a much down to Sparks’ writing style a the glimmers of a good plot. But it just doesn’t feel as good as the previous books, especially with the re-use of tropes that were done better before and characters tht don’t inspire much in the way of emotions. However, I am open to reading the next book, as Brody remains my favorite character, and there is some brief foreshadowing of how he has to end his affliction in the next book.
In short, this is a book I would recommend waiting to buy on sale or borrowing instead of buying at the list price. It does have its charms, and as always, this is just my opinion (and reviews do seem to be mixed on this one), so definitely keep all that in mind while making the decision.
Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2TGeuIE