So This Is Ever After
by FT Lukens
Published March 29th 2022 by Simon & Schuster Audio
Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this funny, subversive 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 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.
Trigger warning: PTSD, drowning, kidnapping
What happens after Happily Ever After?
I’ve been eyeing So This Is Ever After since it was first announced- an almost retelling of King Arthur and Merlin, with the author’s signature humor?? I’m so happy to see that it was available on Scribd immediately after its release and soon start the book.
Well I’m happy to announce that it didn’t disappoint! The first chapter opened up exactly with Arek and his group of friends storming the castle and defeating the evil king and the succession crisis that comes after. The humor makes it really funny to see these group of people debating on what to do after killing the evil king; what spoils to take, who’s going to clean the blood, where is everyone else, and why Arek should be king. With huge reluctance, Arek crowned himself as temporary king but now that the rightful heir is dead, he’s stuck with the throne, the magical law, and cleaning up mess the previous evil king left behind.
As always, I love FT Lukens writing style! The humor was on point, it’s hilarious and fun but also manages to bring the attention to how ridiculous the situation/tropes are. It’s more of a light fantasy so there’s not a lot of world building described, but since it’s presumably based on King Arthur’s tale you can imagine the castles using those medieval images. It’s also very fast paced and I gotta say, the audiobook narrator, Kevin R. Free, really fits Arek (and the author’s books in general).
I also really love all the characters! Arek was thrown into a situation he was wholly unprepared for: leaving home due to a prophecy of killing the evil king (who, he’s also underprepared for), he didn’t expect also to be the next king. He really struggled at first with all the fear from the people and hatred from neighboring kingdom, but by following his heart he showed himself to be the kind, compassionate king the kingdom needed. Arek was also supported by his amazing group of friends, who could’ve leave but instead chose to stay and help Arek run the kingdom despite also being unqualified for it. They truly care for him more than just the person at the center of the prophecy but also as a friend.
Answering the question of “what happens after HEA“, this book also took a dive into the characters psyche. We saw how much running around avoiding the evil king forces and killing him affected the group, from PTSD to unconsciously not knowing each other better. We saw what the characters had to give up going on this quest, and what they had to give up with their responsibility as a hero now. We saw how despite finishing their job, they also recognize the threat of an empty throne and saw it as their responsibility to fill the gap. We saw the mess he left behind in terms of internal and foreign relations, and how it affects in building the kingdom back up. It’s really interesting and something I wished explored more in books.
So why not a 5 stars? Well it also quite centered on the romance, with the whole magical soulmate law and Arek pining over Matt. And I gotta say… the romance Suck. At first I was rooting for them, especially with how Arek was looking and reminiscing of Matt so fondly. But in the end I just couldn’t see Matt having the same feelings as Arek? Like there were no moments of them together that showed that. He refused to help Arek in the whole magical soulmate issue, barely talk to him and often storming off or brooding, and just… barely there for Arek. I’d say Shauna and Lila were there more than Arek. The ending was pretty obvious considering the tone of the book but yeah, I’m just not a fan of the romance.
Overall, if you’re in the mood for some light, fun fantasy, story that explores HEA and pokes fun at the tropes, as well as gayer Arthur and Merlin, I highly recommend this book! It was really fun and fast paced, with amazing characters and growth. The romance wasn’t as good as expected but overall, it was a great book and cemented FT Lukens as one of my auto-buy author!
8 thoughts on “So This Is Ever After by FT Lukens”
This sounds interesting. Sad romance wasn’t as good as other elements of the book. Great review!
Yeah it was a bit sad since I kinda looking forward for the romance aspect too, but it’s still a fun read!
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oooh your review has me looking! adding to tbr 💛
Ahh I hope you’ll enjoy it! 💗
wow!! i’ve been absent and i come back and see your redesigned blog! love it!! also glad this book didn’t disappoint you, i’m always up for an arthurian retelling so will definitely check it out! great review, tasya! ❤️
Aww thank you! Me too, the arthurian aspect is definitely one of the selling point of the book for me!
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