Friday, February 12, 2010

FRIDAY: Neverafter

Four stories in one book. I read three of them and enjoyed each one. I have mentioned before that I like princess stories, fractured fairy tales and grown up fairy tales. These three stories were great and none of them crossed too far into the "grown up" category to require a disclaimer. There are a few characters who embrace "alternate" lifestyles, but no details are given.

Can He Bake a Cherry Pie? by Laurell K. Hamilton is a short story about a princess faced with marriage to an appalling, sleazy man. Her only other choice is to go on a quest that will likely lead to her death. The princess chooses to make her own destiny and takes her chance on the quest, but it doesn't quite go like she thought it would.

The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie M. Liu is a mysterious story about a princess being forced into marriage to a brutal warlord. She has never met him in person, but the stories of his brutality are legendary. Fear of this man and a dark and magical forest draw the princess away from the castle and into great adventure and discovery.

The Wrong Bridegroom by Sharon Shinn is the story of a headstrong princess who, after fighting the idea of a suitor chosen for her, finds herself on a trek with the two men who won the challenge for her hand. One is an adventurous magician and the other is a dull gentleman she has known her whole life. The journey opens her eyes to previously unknown things about herself, her family, and these men in her life.

I didn't try the fourth story because the premise just didn't grab my attention. Other readers may find it as enjoyable as I found these three stories. One line I enjoyed so much that I wrote it down sums up these stories well: "They never tell you in fairy tales that sometimes the prize may not be worth the effort." (pg 25)

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