Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this funny, subversive young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.
Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.
As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.
With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.
🏳️🌈 Queer characters
📚 YA, great young characters, authentic voices
🦄 Fantasy / not a lot of world-building sadly
👯♂️great supporting characters
Have you ever wondered what happens to the heroes after they vanquish the evil ruler? Well, if you have then here’s a book you’ll really enjoy. Arek has destroyed the evil ruler… with the help of his best friend and Mage, Matt, and a band of great supporting characters. But then what happens?
As soon as the evil ruler is dethroned in a messy way… Arek finds himself becoming King. He goes into it thinking that it’s going to be a temporary rule…but soon discovers that things are much more convoluted than he originally suspected. The biggest catch is that Arek must marry… if he doesn’t find a soulmate, he will disappear or explode or meet some other horrible fate he can’t imagine.
As always, there are multiple problems for Arek. He comes up with a scheme that means he will work his way through all of his friends to see if any of them may be the one for him… even though the only one of his friends he has feelings for is his best friend Matt.
There’s nothing too new in this story. It’s well-written although there wasn’t nearly enough world-building. One of the things that I have enjoyed about Lukens’ past books is the detail and care they spent on building up a different world completely. In this book, I had to just make assumptions about the kind of world it was.
I’m not sure that the description is great… I went into this story expecting something far more epic because of the reference to Arthurian legends… now I’m wondering if it was more of a reference to the British “Merlin” program. The love story was cute but took a long time to get going!
All in all, this is a cute story… nothing too epically original but the banter was great. I do enjoy the way that Lukens writes their supporting characters in particular!
I received an ARC of So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens from Margaret K. McElderry Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.