My Thoughts on A Duel with the Vampire Lord (Married to Magic, Book 3) by Elise Kova

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Elise Kova always writes good books. I have loved every other book in the Married to Magic series by this author, so when I found out she was releasing another one I was so excited about it. Especially when I heard it was a Beauty and the Beast, and a vampire book in the series. Sign me up! Those are two of my favorite things. Even if it’s been done a lot, I always like to see new takes on it.

Synopsis

For romantic epic fantasy fans who loved King of Battle of BloodThe Bridge Kingdom, and CraveStep into a world of hunters, vampires, and curses that run deeper than blood. This stand-alone is a must for fantasy vampire lovers.

On the night of the blood moon, the Vampire Lord must die.

Floriane’s position as the forge maiden of Hunter’s Hamlet is one of reverence, for it is her skill that arms and protects the vampire hunters. She knows her place and is a faithful servant to the Master Hunter and her community… until the night of the blood moon. Until her brother is dying at the hands of the Vampire Lord Ruvan.

Wanting to defend her home at all costs, Floriane fights the vampire lord, ready to give her life if it means taking his. But Ruvan doesn’t want to take her life… he wants her.

Kidnapped and brought to the vampire castle, Floriane is now blood sworn to the vampire lord. She is bound in mind and body to her worst enemy. But Ruvan isn’t the fiend she thought he was. She learns the truth of the vampires: They are not mindless monsters, but a proud people, twisted and tortured by an ancient curse.

Ruvan believes that Floriane might be the key to ending his people’s suffering. All Floriane wants is to defend her home. Loyalties are tested and the lines between truth and lie, hate and passion, are blurred.

When her dagger is at his chest, will she be able to take the heart of the man who has claimed hers?

A darkly-reimagined Snow White, meets inspiration from Beauty and the Beast, with vampires, in an epic fantasy world of enemies to lovers, found family, and deep lore. This stand alone is complete with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for fantasy romance fans looking for just the right amount of steam and their next slow-burn and swoon worthy, enemies to lovers story.

Book Details

  • Published: August 18, 2022
  • Page Count: 536 pages
  • Genre: YA Fantasy, Folklore

Thoughts on A Duel with the Vampire Lord

This book is a Beauty and the Beast-inspired book in the sense that Ruvan takes Floriane and locks her in his castle in order to help break a curse. One where no one really knows the history behind the curse nor their own history very well. So, everyone is scrambling to figure both out while having to overcome their hatred of each other.

Every step forward these two make is another two steps back. They communicate so it’s not a miscommunication issue, but neither is fully ready to set aside their differences or beliefs. Both grew up hating the other over the curse. Something both of them believed the other was the cause for. Or rather, the vampires blamed the humans while the humans thought they were mindless and the only way to end the attacks was to kill the lord of the vampires. So, don’t expect them to get together fully any time soon. It takes them a while though there are a lot of tender and flirty moments along the way. However, I wanted to knock the characters’ heads together and tell them to get their stuff together. It was a bit too much of them dancing around if they loved each other or not. And didn’t have the same payout as the other books in this series did when it came to them being together.

I love the way Elise Kova describes what’s happening. It’s written with colorful language that flows without ever feeling like too much description. However, I do think it could have cut out a few of the forging scenes. I get Floriane was a blacksmith, but we didn’t need that many scenes of it to get that point across. Forging new weapons and learning things, sure. But to avoid conflict or confronting feelings got to be a bit much at times.

Also, the way vampires were done (vampir) was unique. The blood isn’t their way of living. It’s the source of their magic and they only consume so much currently to avoid the curse that’s turning them into monsters. Which fit in with the rest of the world that’s been established in the previous Married to Magic books. The vampir weren’t the strongest beings and vanished as far as we know. So, learning about what happened to them was interesting. Especially with how they try to save everyone using a deep sleep in ruby-like coffins, and how the curse was put in place. I won’t spoil anything in regard to the curse. It’s the biggest mystery of the book. It was more complex than the other books and I couldn’t fully guess who caused the curse in the first place. So, it was interesting learning alongside the main character about what happened.

Anyways, I really liked this book. I would give it a 3.75-star rating. Definitely one of the best in the series, so far. There are going to be more books in the series and I’m curious where the next one is going to go with sirens. Especially since each seems to have some inspiration from common fairy tales. Or at least these last two have.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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