So This Is Ever After

by F. T. Lukens

Hardcover, 2022

Status

Available

Call number

813.6

Publication

Margaret K. McElderry Books (2022), 352 pages

Description

Fantasy. Romance. Young Adult Fiction. LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML:An instant New York Time bestseller! Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this subversive, "delightfully original and whimsical" (Kirkus Reviews) 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 lifeā??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 alo… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member gadosiahe
So This Is Ever After by F. T. Lukens is essentially what you would expect: a queer, fantasy/romance full of fun, longing, missed and mixed signals, and the (happily) ever after you'll be rooting for all along.

You might think that, with main characters named Arek and Matt, the story owes most of
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its premise to Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. However, the characters owe much more to the fantasy character classes primarily based on Dungeons and Dragons, and the snippets of their journey leading up to the events of the book certainly sound like the hijinks one should expect in any good Dungeons and Dragons campaign. This wink-and-a-nod to tabletop roleplaying helps set up the medley of characters, making them memorable and enjoyable without feeling like flat stereotypes.

The plot is similarly structured in that it uses a lot of stereotypical twists and turns in ways that make the reading enjoyable and easily understood without feeling tired or worn out. While nothing that happens feels particularly surprising, it also does not feel stale and trope-filled.

The worst thing I can say about this book is that it left me wanting more, preferably a sequel about how well everybody is doing in the future. All of the characters are enjoyable, the plot is light and fun, and the ending was very well landed. In fact, it was such a fun read that I could barely put it down, reading it in a single sitting (with appropriate bathroom breaks of course). Suitable for YA/teen audiences, I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a less explicit queer romance/fantasy.
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LibraryThing member bertha96
This was so sweet and exactly what I needed.
LibraryThing member tornadox
Enjoyable story that takes place where most books end--after the quest has been completed. What happens next? Will there be a new quest?

Arek and his group have fulfilled the prophecy and killed the Vile One. Arek agrees to be the temporary king until the the righful heir is found. Bu there is
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strong magic involved, thwarting his vague plans for the future.

Random observations: The original quest was very much like a D&D campaign. Book is set in a world where queer relationshops are not stigmatized at all. Very refreshing. Although most of the main characters are in their late teens, there is a lot of swearing.
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LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
Apart from a tiny niggling plot point (x months after gaining the throne would have been better than by certain age) but this story that starts with the end of the quest and then asks what next. What do the characters do with themselves after they've defeated the big bad and now have to deal with
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the aftermath and ruling. A close-knit found family who like each other. But Arek has to find a spouse by his 18th birthday or it's all going to go completely wrong and he's going to die. He has to deal with being King Arek the Kind and trying to work out if any of his friends will be his spouse, even though who he really wants is Matt, who is trying hard to also not reveal that he loves Arek.
It's an inclusive, interesting world with characters who have so much angst and yearning...
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Awards

ALA Rainbow Book List (Selection — 2023)
New York Public Library Best Books: For Teens (Top Ten — Fiction — 2022)

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2022-03-29

Physical description

352 p.; 9 inches

ISBN

1534496866 / 9781534496866
Page: 0.5532 seconds