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Elfhame: A Dark Elf Fairy Tale/Beauty and the Beast Retelling (The Darkwood Chronicles Book 1)
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Elfhame: A Dark Elf Fairy Tale/Beauty and the Beast Retelling

(Darkwood Chronicles #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Skeleton Key Book Series ~ One Skeleton Key. Endless Adventures.

Deep in the Darkwood, a mystic portal awaits...

Mara Geary faces a bleak future in the village of Little Hazel until, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, strange glowing lights beckon her into the mysterious shadows under the trees. She follows, hoping for adventure. What she finds
Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published June 13th 2016 by Fiddlehead Press
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Start your review of Elfhame: A Dark Elf Fairy Tale/Beauty and the Beast Retelling (The Darkwood Chronicles Book 1)
Mara YA Mood Reader
Free on Kindle US today (11/6/2019) !
Selena (Life of a Random)
I have to say... after the Feyland books I was hoping to be blown away by this book because it just sounds SO good.

And it WAS good, just not the amazing, life-changing good I really hoped for.

I liked the the description of the worlds (as expected because really how many people can do descriptions like Anthea Sharp), I liked the way the author created a new re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. One pretty removed from the original story and yet still with pretty obvious connections.

I guess my
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Holy smokes! What a trip! Sharp took me out of this world and on an adventure unlike any other with this tale. It was simply magical. The tale was vividly beautiful yet the heaviness of the Dark Court shines through. Not only was the world well developed and the scenery vivid, but the plot was intense. The fast paced tale melded action, adventure, and a healthy dose of unlikely romance to create a whole that I couldn’t put down. And the ending? It definitely brought me to tears. It was ...more
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
Rating ~2.5

This book could have been amazing if the story itself had been given more time to grow and develop. The backbone was there. But due to its length, it felt rushed. And therefore, I did not really believe the main characters fell in love so quickly. It was not exactly insta-love but because the book was so short it felt like it.
Ashley Martinez (ilovebooksandstuffblog)

Dark and dangerous. A fantastic fantasy adventure full of magic, suspense and love. I really enjoyed the story and characters. The story was a bit fast paced and I would’ve loved to see the characters relationship develop further but overall it was good and I look forward to seeing what happens next.
Quinn David
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I hate to say it, but I have a huge bias against stories labeled as re-tellings. In fact, I absolutely abhor them, I avoid them at all costs, you can’t pay me enough to read them. I find the label distracting, I spend my entire time looking for similarities between the original and current, comparing and contrasting the changes made, and looking for key plot points to appear. Also why read something if you already know how it’s more or less going to pan out/end? I almost didn’t read Elfhame ...more
Def way tok short, but good writing and engaging story!
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
From The Book Junkie Reads . . .
A young adult fantasy that was all about the female lead and her fate to become the one to marry. Marry a dark elven prince may not have been on her to do list for the day. Mara was resourceful and strong. Mara had inner strength the worked to her advantage. She was sweet and very compassionate. Bran was no slouch in the hero department. But following prophecy was not exactly what he was wanting either. He was more than what was on the surface.

Watching this world
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anthea took such unique approach to this book. When the book is through the mortal women's viewpoint, the story is strictly through her perspective. Thoughts of others are not interspersed with hers; we move along the story with her view of reality. Although the Prince has his own moments of introspection, they are nothing to Mara's. And the description of the Dark Elves (so now I know why they are called that!) is also unique. These are not the elves of Tolkien! Anthea didn't downplay the ...more
Julie Fancher
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great story.
Elfhame by Anthea Sharp has it all, suspense, action, romance and even different species. A prophecy brings together Brann, a dark elf, and Mara, a mortal young woman. It was said that during Elfhame's greatest need, a doorway would open bringing a mortal woman that Brann would need to marry if they were to save Elfhame. While Brann has know of this prophecy his entire life, Mara know nothing about it until she find an unusual skeleton key, that leads her into another
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elfhame was an intriguing story of a young woman who finds herself as a unlikely heroine in a world full of magical forces, both light and dark. The storyline was slightly predictable, but the author kept you intrigued with beautifully detailed writing. I would highly recommend! Looking forward to reading more in the Skeleton Key series! <>
Ryan Smith
A very enthralling novel and one I could not put down once I started reading!
Camryn Daytona
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This review was originally posted on Camryn DaytonaI recently searched 'elf' on kindle unlimited and downloaded the first few books that popped up. This was one of them.

It's supposed to be a strange Beauty and the Beast retelling, and while I suppose it is that, I feel like it tries to hard.

Some Notes:

There is (small)a cliffhanger at the end of the book
It came out in 2016
Book two came out in 2019
I don't know if there will be any more books, goodreads doesn't say
I don't mind gaps
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mara is a simple country girl who has been accepted to work in the castle as a maid when she comes upon a crystal key and loses her job because the said key is playing its tricks on her. She is bored with her life and is not ready to get married and settle down as her mother wants her to do, she wants adventure and the key leads her to an adventure she never expected. She visits the Darkwood at the edge of the village at night and follows some lights which lead her to a keyhole which the key ...more
The Mysterious Reader
I frankly adore Anthea Sharp, both her astonishingly wonderful Feyland books and the others I’ve read (and I think I’ve read most of what she’s written at this point). Thus you can imagine my glee to discover that there’s a whole new series of books by her, the Darkwood Trilogy, of which Elfhame is the first book (it’s also somehow linked to something called the Skeleton Key books, but I haven’t figured out that connection yet). Elfhame is truly spectacular, a Dark Elf Fairy Tale, a romance, an ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it

Eh, this was free, and I refuse to give back reviews to free books on principle, but I’m not sure that this deserves the stars. The author does a great job of setting the scenes, but the all of the scenes are abrupt and under developed, and the characters are all flat without emotion or development.
There are plenty of novels where the characters rush into emotions, but these characters did t even have the remotest amount of buildup. It was I distain you one day, and adore you the next.
Cary Morton
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have some mixed feelings about Elfhame by Anthea Sharp. The book was exceedingly well written when it came to the narrative. There was a poetry to the descriptions that made the book a joy to read. I enjoyed the characters, the world-building, and the plot in general.

All was not puppies and rainbows, however. The book became incredibly rushed once Mara crossed into Elfhame, and because of this, the plot, characterizations, and romance suffered. What could have been a spectacular story ended up
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I realized I'd already purchased and hadn't read (thanks for keeping track of that, Amazon!) I'd looked for it again because the synopsis popped up somewhere online and it seemed interesting.
What I like: the interesting and unusual worlds, the plot was good, and clean, with lots of action. I guess it's probably a YA novel. I realized later it was a beauty and the beast retelling.
What I didn't like: the heroine just seemed awfully mature for someone who just
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok

I'm going to be honest, the only reason I even looked at this book is because it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It was fast paced, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because you got to experience a whole lot in a small amount of pages. However, it could have been more detailed and enhanced to make the world pop out a bit more. And they fell in love too fast, which I didn't like at all. This could have been such a great story if there was more behind it.
Kimberly Newman
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unique and fun

I must say this book definitely does not fall into a cookie-cutter mold! I was never quite sure which direction it would take. It was great! It is well written with realistic characters. The subtle humor was a nice addition, while the world building was excellent. It had a satisfying ending but left room for the next book, which I plan to purchase. I have also followed the author because I like Anthea Sharp's writing style. I am thankful to have found her through a giveaway.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
I would technically give the story 3.5 stars. I thought the story was very cute, if a bit short. I would have enjoyed it more if the protagonists didn't "fall in love" in a few days. Not to mention, multiple scenes feel quite brief and could have been fleshed out more. (Particularly the supposed climax against the Dark Elves' enemy) Overall, I enjoyed it despite my few gripes, since my gripes were me wanting more out of the story.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The blurb showed this as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but for me it was a tale of magic and adventure across worlds. The author definitely knows how to draw in her audience. Mara wanted something more than what life currently offered her, but she got so more then she could possibly imagine. Bran lived his whole life with the expectation of a prophecy, and even when it came true to bear it was so much more. A must read fantasy enthusiast. This will not disappoint.
Lisa Eiff
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this novel. I actually read it as part of a set (Wicked Magic), but was impressed with the development put into the characters of Bran & Mara. In this story, an unlikely bond is prophesied between a mortal girl and a Dark Elf Prince that would save the realm. I would recommend this book to fan of dark fae and elflore.
Brandy Crosson
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun and imaginative

I really enjoyed this book a lot, as it was different and well written. There were a couple of grammatical errors, and an overuse of the word "strange", but all in all, a fun read. I feel like this book was either too short, or would have been better suited as a series of it's own, as events seemed to happen rather quickly. Still, it was a great read!
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great Story

I was very surprised with this book. I thought it would be a good story even short one. However, I did not expect to like it so much. I couldn't put it down and had to finish it before I went to bed. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Lisa P
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adventures through the woods!

This was a surprisingly quick read as I was completely engrossed in the story. I enjoyed the prophecy and the strange dynamic that it rendered. Hooray for awesome sisters!
Lisa Kizer
After the “battle” with void the story line was very rushed. I liked the build up of Bran and Mara getting to know each other but then -squash- they win and she goes home and comes back in like 3 chapters.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it

This was a cute fantasy adventure romance. Mara is an innocent character who is expecting a big adventure, yet when she gets it she wants to run. Bran has grown up with a mantel of responsibility to his world and it shows.
Lyssa Falcao
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun book

Good story line and characters. Heart warming tale. A human female and a dark fae Prince called to each other through a prophecy and magic. Fast paced with magic, monster's, hatred, love. Everything you'd want in a fairy tale. Worth reading.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Neat view of high fantasy. Great characters as well.
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Growing up, Anthea Sharp spent her summers raiding the library shelves and reading, especially fantasy. She now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, plays the fiddle, hangs out in virtual worlds, and spends time with her small-but-good family. Contact her at, follow her on twitter, find her on facebook (, and visit ...more

Other books in the series

Darkwood Chronicles (2 books)
  • Hawthorne (Darkwood Chronicles #2)