Long Live the Elf Queen by J.M. Kearl – Book Review

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“it was when you stuck a knife in my shoulder in my room that I knew you were the one for me. All I thought was that this lovely maiden is wild, and I love her.”

Goodreads / Storygraph

Summary from Goodreads

The enthralling and romantic sequel to J.M. Kearl’s enchanting Bow Before the Elf Queen.

Layala fought against falling in love with him. Thane battled to win his mate’s heart. Now they’ll discover if their love can withstand those who tore them apart.

Held for weeks without food or water, Layala’s resolve begins to fracture as an evil darkness looms over her. She’s the key to destroying the Void or reviving its creator— the long-dead Black Mage she has a mysterious connection to.

Layala and Thane learn what it truly means to fight for love as their enemies surround them and it becomes a struggle for revenge, the kingdom, and finding the truth about why Layala seems to harbor the power of whether Palenor falls into darkness or if her Lightbringer name holds true.

Since I know you’ll ask, yes, there’s more steam than book 1. Contains violence and mature themes.

Thoughts on the Plot

This book really changed my mind about the whole series. So please be warned that there are some spoilers coming up.

Let’s start with the pacing. If the first book started out fast and then slowed down, this one picked right back up at that slow pace.

There is a bit more world-building but the new places we go to seemed to do very little for the plot. Or even the characters. 

The dragons had me scratching my head the whole time. 

This book is quite adventurous, and I did like it in that aspect. This book is also quite spicier than the first. 

So if you like spice, which I do, then you will enjoy the ramped up romance/spice this book offers. 

Thoughts on the Characters

Oh man, Layala really takes a turn for the worse in this book. 

I wanted to slap her so many times. So many of the dumb decisions she made and her obvious lack of communication really rubbed me the wrong way. 

Thane was still his charming self, but I disliked the martyr aspect of his character. It felt a bit overplayed. 

What really irritated me off was the ending. 

🚨 SPOILER 🚨

Why the author felt the need to introduce a new character, change the whole story from the previous two books, and try to push a love triangle on us in the THIRD BOOK when Thane and Layala have become an established pair, is beyond my comprehension. It made me feel so stupid, like what was the point of the first two books, for the mage to come in at the end and say “Yep, it was all a lie, hahahaha”

🚨 SPOILER OVER 🚨

So yeah. I did enjoy that we got a bit more of the side characters. Some people seem to be on the fence, but I genuinely enjoyed Tif.

And the dragons were quite fascinating, but felt like they added very little to the overall story. 

Overall Thoughts

Honestly, I’m kinda mad now that I remember how this book ended. 

The ending is why I decided not to continue this series. It felt like a slap in the face from the author to readers who had become too invested in Thane and Layala. 

While there were aspects I enjoyed, the ending really left a sour taste in my mouth. 

The third book, Fate Calls the Elf Queen link to Goodreads, if you’d like to check it out.

I initially gave this book 3 stars out of 5 stars, but I’m giving it 2 stars out of 5 stars because I am still angry. 

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