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.
In a delightful twist, there is no villain in So This Is Ever After. The Big Bad is dispatched on the first page; there are a couple more threats to King Arek’s life, but there is no central villainous figure. All of the plot tension stems from Arek trying and failing to find his soulmate. There are a couple of action set pieces—which Lukens is always great at describing—but overall this is a softer, slower story. This offers a lot more room for some much needed and thoroughly engaging introspection and revelation…
Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.
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