Do you remember being read fairy tales when you were a child? The monsters were always defeated, the beautiful lady was always rescued by Prince Charming, and everyone lived happily ever after. Or did they? What happened after the end of the stories that we read? Did everyone really live happily ever after?
Never Ever After: Three Short Stories, written by Ruth Nestvold, are three fairy tales that look at things in a very different way. The three stories are A Serca Tale, King Orfeigh, and Happily Ever Awhile.
A Serca Tale looks at the epic hero in a very different way. Normally all the women long to be with the hero because he is so brave, so handsome. But what happens if his physical and personality are less than desirable? The hero is now old and frail, and has asked for a beautiful young princess to be his wife. Her father consented to the match, but the princess did not. The names - Grainne, Fionn, Oison, Daire, Diarmait - are hard to get used to, but as the story progresses you become familiar with them.
Will the young princess be doomed to a life with this grumpy, old, once-upon-a-time hero? Or does she find a way out?
King Orfeigh was written in the second person POV. I normally do not like stories written in this point of view, but the author did such a fantastic job that it was actually a pleasure to read. King Orfeigh is a human king whose wife is seduced and whisked away form him by a faerie king. This beautiful story tells of Orfeigh's love and longing for his missing wife, his search for her, and his desire to reclaim her, if only she will have him back.
Happily Ever Awhile is a continuation of the story of Cinderella. Did she and her Prince Charming really live happily ever after? Or did the problems of real life enter into their fairy tale marriage? She has married a king and all is well, until he has to lead his men into battle. She is left at the castle with their two children and has to find ways to amuse herself until her husband returns.
What happens while her Prince Charming is gone? Does she still live a fairy tale life?
These stories were a joy to read. The novella is short, so it only took a few hours to read through them. If you are a fan of fairy tales, you would love these stories written from a unique perspective.