King of the Mountains by Elizabeth Frost
Kill the King.
Save the world.
Morgan has no problem killing the king, especially since the alternative is being locked away for all her other murders… But he doesn’t make it easy.
First off, he’s a bearded, sexy wild man who chops firewood shirtless in his backyard. Second? He’s created an entire dimension hidden from the human realm, where he controls everything.
The longer she’s in his realm, the more she realizes he’s wiggled his way under her skin with his sexy smirk and stupid beard. What’s worse? She might let him end the world if she gets to keep him.
trigger warnings: mention of rape and sexual assault, traumatic memories (referred to, not described graphically), ptsd, murder, violence, death, child abuse (memory, not graphic).
A werewolf, a vampire, and a faerie blackmail a witch. They threaten her with the truth about what she did years ago. Begrudgingly, she accepts their threat and portals off to murder a faerie king from sitting on the throne and in doing so possibly saving humanity in one go.
A witch. A gothic earthy hedge witch at that. Morgan’s got vines growing in her house in the woods which she likes to bind people in if they cross her territory. She’s a classic rhyming pot stirring plant loving old school witch with some pretty horrific Salem witch trial memories. She hates people and what they have done to her. She’s got some very justifiable anger towards the way humans abused her. They can fucking die for all she cares, just as long as they leave her to her little hovel to grow her witchy plants.
I love heroines best when they’re grumpy goths.
- roughly 500 years old
- Likes plants more than people
- Creation of humanity’s disregard and cruelty
- Like a lot of us with trauma she keeps people at a distance
- Sacrifices her pinky nails for magic
Morgan hates the Fae. She isn’t too terribly bothered at the thought of killing one if it means being left alone. She hates faeries like Liam. Ostenacious and entirely to blame for the horrors witches like her experienced at the hands of humans if you ask Morgan. Then she sees him and…..
She needed to stop staring at the sweaty faerie king chopping wood, and figure out how she would kill him.
The witch likes what she sees. And then said witch starts to have emotions and gets all beffudled.
Morgan has some baggage thrown onto her and like a lot of us she’s got things to work through. Her rather traumatic memories being one of those bags.
Morgan had always used anger as a shield between herself and the world. No one could get underneath her skin if she was a giant bitch.
I don’t have the type of trauma that Morgan has but I do have c-ptsd from abuse. The flashbacks and the emotional dysregulation Morgan has is very familiar and relatable to me. Morgan wanting loneliness and desiring to be left alone so she doesn’t have to be hurt anymore is something I can attest to being part of ptsd. It’s very hard to trust humanity when most of your life has been people hurting you. I think a lot of people expect us to just move on and smile and be normal. When you’ve been through pain it’s easier to be cold and keep your distance. A lot of people may not realize this but people with trauma don’t just keep people at a distance to keep ourselves from being hurt but also because we don’t really trust ourselves to be happy and normal around other people. We do this because we aren’t ready to be intimate with others. Understand that people with trauma don’t have to be nice (as long as we aren’t being abusive to people we don’t know) or even on a higher ground when it comes to those that have hurt us.
She didn’t want to be beautiful in front of him. She wanted to just be the woodland witch with crazy hair and dirty skin. Someone unremarkable and forgettable.
I love it when people that have been trauma get their love story. This is what I believe the author is trying to get across and it’s refreshing as fuck.
- Fae king
- Green/earth faerie
- Hates people
- Gets angry when the humans kill the plants
- An unkempt mountain man
- Has a beard and a great ass according to Morgan
- Likes the color pink
- Made Morgan a bed of moss and a pillow of autumn leaves
What I love about Liam and Morgan’s build up from seething to charming magical sexiness is they don’t really resort to treating each other like shit (points to all the other romance authors that do use that trashy plot tactic). Liam’s initial thoughts about Morgan are….fucking witch in my world. Hellllll no.
The relationship between them is really relaxed fun, and full of dry humor. To be perfectly simple: i like it.
Elizabeth Frost has gorgeous prose. This is very much like a mesh of the writing style I typically see in the fantasy genre but romance. Think the whimsical faeries of Jim Henson films and the prose expected of adult fantasy with all the deliciousness of romance. One of the things that I don’t really love about romance publishing is that it really limits the writing styles. I rarely see elegant and gorgeous prose in the romances that the big 5 publishes. There’s such a pushback against any creativity with stylistic choices in publishing and this is aboslutely where indie publishing shines. To be perfectly frank, publishing cannot handle stories like this. It is too full of imagination and creativity.
While I would absolutely recommend this book, it did not reach the 5 star potential I initally thought it would. The last 50 percent went downhill for me. I feel like the emotions that Morgan needed to go through were not given the time she needed, especially for someone with so much trauma. People with trauma need time. I feel that the author was forcing the reader a little too hard. She wanted us to be at a place we weren’t. Liam and Morgan fall in love quite quickly. It isn’t instalove but rather fast love (which happens in real life but people reading romance often refuse to believe so). Yes there is a difference between instalove and fast love.
My issue is with how much time we spend with them internalizing their feelings for each other and the build up that happens with Morgan’s realization towards the last half of the novel. It just wasn’t giving me the emotional response that I know it should have, especially given I thought this was going to be a 5 star read. The leaps were too much.
We did not spend all that much time with Liam’s emotions and how he feels about Morgan. There’s a lot of really amazing world building done but not so much building upon emotions. You would think there would be though? Both Liam and Morgan have some very severe emotional issues they need to work through and I would have thought we could see some of that develop, as it’s very clear to me that the author wanted to discuss how trauma and women’s emotions are disregarded by humanity.
I also found some inconsistencies in the world building. Why does Morgan know about Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl if she lives alone away from humans. She references the fact that she doesn’t watch news. So does this witch have a kindle? Does she read up on the most popular children’s stories? Does she have a library of books because she can’t stand being near humans? Why does Morgan need to take a bath when earlier she changes herself with magic before she meets the Fae king? I am confused by these inconsistencies.
I would absolutely recommend reading this book. It just has some problems I wish it didn’t. I fully expect to read more Elizabeth Frost, and her other books under Emma Hamm, in the future. She has a gift for writing. Seriously this is the most earthy and witch-full book I’ve ever read.