Sunday, July 25, 2010

Never After

Authors: Laurell K. Hamilton, Yasmine Galenorn, Marjorie M. Liu, Sharon Shinn
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin)
Copyright: 2009
Genre: Short Stories, Fantasy

 Four stories about princesses and love - with a twist. I've been thinking of these stories as the "anti-fairy-tales." They're all stories of how a princess takes her destiny in her own hand and escapes from her betrothed, and how she eventually finds love or happiness in unexpected ways.

Here are the blurbs from the back cover:

Laurell K. Hamilton spins a story of a princess who decides to take her own destiny in hand and rescue a pampered Prince Charming from an evil sorceress in "Can He Bake A Cherry Pie?"

A selkie on the run from a century-old broken marriage arrangement has finally found true love - only to have the darkness from her past return to threaten both her and her dearly beloved in Yasmine Galenorn's "The Shadow of the Mist."

Marjorie M. Liu tells the tale of a young princess who escapes betrothal to a warlord by entering a magical forest. But when an evil queen sends her on a quest to "The Tangleroot Palace," she faces dangers more perilous than marriage.

When a princess refuses her boring betrothed, the king holds a competition to see who will win his daughter's hand. But in matters of the heart, is a winner truly worthy - or can a loser offer even more in Sharon Shinn's "The Wrong Bridegroom"?

I loved all four of these stories! They're sassy and witty and full of girl power. I think it's rare to find four stories with such similar styles, even though each style is unique in its own way (is that redundant? if it's unique, it's in its own way!). I liked "The Tangleroot Palace" the most, mostly because I was able to figure out what was going on early enough that I could wait eagerly for the events to play out the way I predicted. But all the stories are great, the writing is crisp and clear, and there's loads of laughs at every turn!


  1. "anti-fairy-tales" I'll have to remember that one. I like the images that come to mind... most of them?!

  2. What I mean is that the point of a lot of fairy tales is that the good, sweet princess gets rescued by the charming, dashing prince and they live happily ever after. As the title "Never After" suggests, these stories turn all that on its head. The princesses are full of fire and vim, and they make their own destiny! I definitely like those images!