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Never After Mass Market Paperback – June 25, 2002

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; First Edition edition (June 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441009077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441009077
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,062,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In Lickiss' charming, clever, and surprisingly substantial slice of fictional cake, Princess Vevila, having had enough of dancing with doltish prospective husbands, would rather seek out adventure. Meanwhile her cousin, Prince Althelstan, has fought through yards of brambles into a somnolent castle to discover three sleeping princes instead of one spellbound princess. "It has to have been a transcription error," he muses, just as he notices a slender beauty dozing near the throne. Captivated, Althelstan decides to inveigle his cousin into waking the princes, which, he hopes, will simultaneously free the object of his affection. Aiding Althelstan are three recent graduates of magical Recondite University, all gearing up to confront the witch who, claiming to be protecting the innocent princes, cast the sleeping spell. Figure in a mysterious little man with mismatched clothing and handfuls of gold, and an insecure princess with two sallow stepsisters, and, well, you see where we're headed. A welcome addition to the fractured fairy tale genre and perfect reading for the beach or an air-conditioned castle bedroom. Roberta Johnson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Brittney Reed on November 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Never After is a fairy tale within a fairy tale...several times over. If you are looking for passion, high drama, intrigue, or mystery...find another book. But, if you are a fairy tale lover with a funny bone, you've found what you're looking for.
I was afraid that I would not like this book at first, but as soon as I met the main heroine, Vevila, I was hooked...
The story starts out with a prince, who can only marry someone of equal or higher rank, on the hunt for a princess. He unfortunately lives during a time of severe princess shortages. He reads about a princess, cursed into eternal sleep, and goes on a quest to rescue her with his kiss. But even the best scribes can blow it, as the prince finds out. It's not a princess, but three identical princes who need a royal to awaken them with a kiss. But there is a lovely maiden asleep in their castle, so our prince, Athelstan, asks his cousin, Vevila, to break the curse for him. Since this will take her away from all her suitors, handsome yet boring certainly included, Vevila agrees. But the princes are guarded by their fairy godmother, and she will allow no one to kiss them until they have undergone a princess test...or two. So Vevila is locked up with a pile of straw and ordered to spin it into gold...and that's only the beginning.
Includes spoofs of The Frog Prince, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and lots more. It was hilarious...especially the fairy godmother who happens to resemble a wicked witch and is slightly, well, nuts really. Try this book! It's great.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Twelve-year-old reading fanatic

I thought this story was really good, but I thought Prince Alth(how do you spell it?) really dropped the whole story down a notch on the enternainment level. I was reading the other reviews, and I think that "something" that it's missing is the climax, it's good and all, but there is no part where they're rushing against time, they simply talk and do amusing things and then suddenly the curse is broken and we're to the conclusion. Another thing that I found dissapionting Vevila's ending, she just agrees (if you've read it you'll know what to)too easily at the end. The "Library's Review" (one of the reviews, I'm not sure if that's the correct one)said that the wizards don't do anything, and I disagree they let you know what's going on, because the prince is far too stupid to know or bother to tell anyone, so All in all I'd recommend picking this book up at the library to read once, but not to buy.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Smoker VINE VOICE on June 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This a short book, but if you are a fan of fairy tale retellings with a little romance and humor, you should like this one.
A rather dim-witted but nice prince finds an enchanted vine-covered castle full of sleeping people including a very beautiful woman that he falls for. In this castle, though, it is a prince that needs kissed and awakened before this beauty and the rest of the castle can be roused. Against her will, he recruits his smart, tomboyish cousin, Vevila, (whom he finds trying to run away from her suitors) to help him wake the prince with her kiss. From that point, much of the story focusses on the strong-willed Princess Vevila and the Princess Tests she is put through by the prince's "protectress", a fairy godmother with a few psychiatric problems. A mysterious swamp dweller, a cute, nameless, short man, an imposter perfect princess, a wicked stepmother desperate to find princes for her daughters, and a trio of pompous, greedy wizards round out the cast.
There is a lot of story packed into this small package! There are shades of Sleeping Beauty, the Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin, The Princess and the Pea, Cinderella and more, all with a bit of humor and a twist. And they all lived happily ever after...
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "spaceprincess12" on October 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's something so appealing about a fractured fairy tale, and this book fractures several, with hilarious results. Is the tale of Sleeping Beauty really about a princess, or was there a mistake in the transcription of "3 princes"? What really happened to the princess who supposedly felt a pea through a tower of mattresses and blankets? Here is a Cinderella, a Rumpelstiltskin, a Frog Prince, that you never imagined.
Some of the characters are, admittedly, a little flat. The wizards, while amusing, are never really revealed, nor is Prince Althelstan. The real draw is the tough, adventurous, independent-minded sort-of princess Vevila and her not-entirely-functional relationship with Rumpelstiltskin, who, for some reason, is determined to prove she's a real princess. The plot twists and turns and, at times, comes dangerously close to not making any sense. That, however, is part of the joy of a fractured fairy tale, and doesn't hurt the book one bit.
It's not a deep or challenging book, but it *is* funny, charming, and clever. A great diversion for a lazy afternoon, one you'll probably want to read again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Harper on August 23, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I happened upon this book by accident and picked it up as a gift for my wife. As it happened, I ended up reading it first.

'Never After' is an unusual fairy tale, seemingly set in another world where tiny kingdoms, and their resulting princes, abound. Due to a most unusual curse - or not, depending on who you ask - there have been very few princesses born in the last generation, so bound to marry a royal princess, prince Athelard goes in search of one reputed to lie asleep in an enchanted palace.

Then he discovers that it's not really a sleeping princess, but a prince. Three of them. And he needs a princess to kiss them to wake them up.

Things get very strange from there.

The characters in the story can't seem to make up their mind who they are - characters from real fairy tales (Rumpelstiltskin and Cinderella both make appearances) or modern men and women from sitcoms (the completely unaware prince, the feminist tomboy princess). The result is meant as a humorous take on Grimm's tales but winds up being merely indecisive instead.

Writing humor is always hit-or-miss at best, and gets worse when one tries to make genre humor. 'Never After', unfortunately, is a miss - albeit one in good company. It had a few genuinely funny moments, but mostly it was just a moderately interesting tale, not a book destined to remain in my personal collection for very long.
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