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ARC Book Review: A Bargain with the Fae King by Megan Van Dyke


For Lia Ashmore, the only thing keeping her grief and guilt in check after an accident nearly killed her little sister, May, are her recurring dreams of Riven, a shadowed man who’s become her confidant, a pleasant escape from the pain of reality.

When May is taken by animalistic dark Fae, Lia journeys to Faery, desperate to save her sister. There, she comes face to face with three shocking truths: Riven is real, he’s not human, and in fact, he’s the King of the Forest Fae. They strike a bargain. He’ll help her save May in exchange for what he wants: Lia as his consort.

But saving her sister is not as easy as either expected, and a failed rescue attempt reignites an age-old conflict between Fae courts. As her relationship with Riven blossoms, Lia becomes increasingly entangled in bitter rivalries and political power plays.

In a world where no one can lie but everyone has secrets, Lia will have to decide who to trust. The choice alone could cost her heart, but the wrong one may demand her life—and her sister’s.


A Bargain with the Fae King is an engaging and entertaining fantasy novel and although part of a series it can be read as a standalone. The writing style, dialogue and general ambiance of the novel comes across as distinctly young adult, however with with the addition of some spicy scenes and the trigger warnings (clearly stated at the beginning of the book) pushes it more into the new adult/adult category. This is a fast paced novel in which romance plays a big part in the storyline, alongside Lia trying to find her younger sister. It is well written, engaging and full of twists and turns. I did notice the writing style is quite different from the author’s debut novel, Second Star to the Left, which has a wonderful humorous edge to it.

Lia’s character is very emotional and she spends a lot of the time being angsty and weeping and for that reason I didn’t warm to her as much as I had hoped. That being said, this is the first book in the Courts of Faery series and as such there is plenty of time for Lia’s character to grow and I do hope she becomes the strong and feisty female lead I adore. The romance between Lia and Riven is slow burn one and there is some wonderful chemistry and passion in the steamy scenes. More insight into the very early stages of their relationship, when Riven first started visiting Lia in her dreams, would have been very welcome. I think this would have added more depth to their relationship and the obvious connection they had much more tangible. I liked the interesting and varied characters at Riven’s court, including Sigurd, Slyvie and Galen. Some of the supporting characters really livened up the story and I hope we see more of them.

This complex world is beautifully portrayed and conjures up vivid imagery of the Faery world, full of castles, forests and lush scenery and when you’re reading it you really become completely transported into the world. It will certainly appeal to fantasy/fantasy romance readers who enjoy a quick and fun read in a fairyland setting.

Publisher: Portal World Publishing
Publication Date (UK): 3 May 2022
Series: #1 Courts of Faery
Format: eARC
Page Count: 373
Genre: Fantasy/Fantasy Romance
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Thank you to the author for the gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Happy reading!



Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

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