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Never Ever After: Three Short Stories [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Nestvold
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

Three previously published fantasy short stories by Ruth Nestvold:

"Happily Ever Awhile"
Everyone knows the story of the filthy girl who married the prince by not bleeding into a glass slipper. But what happened to Ellie after the happy ending?

"King Orfeigh"
A young Irish king has lost his wife to the king of Faerie. Is there any way he can win her back?

"A Serca Tale"
A retelling of the old Irish legend "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne."

Never Ever After is a short story collection of approximately 9000 words.

Editorial Reviews


"Ruth Nestvold's source tale for 'Happily Ever Awhile' is 'Cinderella,' yet her story could serve just as well as the 'what happened next' version of any fairy tale where the original ending was 'And they lived happily ever after.' Because the first thing we learn from the re-told tales is how this business of living happily ever after isn't all it was cracked up to be. From the title, the reader might think that the question at the heart of this story is how long true happiness can last, but in fact, it proves to be the nature of happiness: how to know when you've found it, how to keep hold of it, how not to piss it away."

-- Lois Tilton, Tangent Online

About the Author

Ruth Nestvold's short stories have appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov's, F&SF, Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" award for best international work. Her novel Yseult (Flamme und Harfe) appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at

Product Details

  • File Size: 147 KB
  • Print Length: 35 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072V9HDQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific collection of fantasy stories. February 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'll review the three stories in Never Ever After one-by-one.

"A Serca Tale": In a lot of stories, heroes are portrayed as universally likeable. Every woman wants him, and every man wants to be him. But what if there's a woman that doesn't want him, but has been promised to him by people that assume she does? This story is set in an Eriu similar to that of 'Yseult', so I enjoyed the familiarity. I wish that the heroine hadn't fled one man only to end up with another, but I suppose it's the freedom of choice that matters. I did enjoy the story, though.

"King Orfeigh": I really enjoyed this story, which tells of a king who has lost his wife to the faerie king, and has been trying to find her and win her back. It's written in the second person, which I found kind of jarring at first, but got used to pretty quickly. The story is heartfelt and touching.

"Happily Ever Awhile": This story explores Cinderella's life after she marries her young Prince Charming and lives "happily ever after." Being married to a prince has its drawbacks - he has to rule a kingdom, and lead its men to war if there is one. Ellie manages to find happiness, though. "Happily Ever Awhile" is a fun story, and manages to balance the fairy tale and the realistic quite well.

Overall, a great collection of stories!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Modern Day Fairy Tales May 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Do you remember being read fairy tales when you were a child? The monsters were always defeated, the beautiful lady was always rescued by Prince Charming, and everyone lived happily ever after. Or did they? What happened after the end of the stories that we read? Did everyone really live happily ever after?

Never Ever After: Three Short Stories, written by Ruth Nestvold, are three fairy tales that look at things in a very different way. The three stories are A Serca Tale, King Orfeigh, and Happily Ever Awhile.

A Serca Tale looks at the epic hero in a very different way. Normally all the women long to be with the hero because he is so brave, so handsome. But what happens if his physical and personality are less than desirable? The hero is now old and frail, and has asked for a beautiful young princess to be his wife. Her father consented to the match, but the princess did not. The names - Grainne, Fionn, Oison, Daire, Diarmait - are hard to get used to, but as the story progresses you become familiar with them.

Will the young princess be doomed to a life with this grumpy, old, once-upon-a-time hero? Or does she find a way out?

King Orfeigh was written in the second person POV. I normally do not like stories written in this point of view, but the author did such a fantastic job that it was actually a pleasure to read. King Orfeigh is a human king whose wife is seduced and whisked away form him by a faerie king. This beautiful story tells of Orfeigh's love and longing for his missing wife, his search for her, and his desire to reclaim her, if only she will have him back.

Happily Ever Awhile is a continuation of the story of Cinderella. Did she and her Prince Charming really live happily ever after?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Written August 24, 2012
By Kris M
Format:Kindle Edition
"A Serca Tale" - a tale of love vs heart. A knight is forced to choose between loyalty to his liege and love without knowing the choice is his.

"King Orfeigh" - Didn't enjoy this as much because it seemed too abridged. If the story was elongated and included a bit more detail it would be much more interesting.

"Happily Ever Awhile" - Cinderella's story continued after the "I DO". This story is a heartbreakingly realistic step away from a fairytale ending. Would love to read more along these lines!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim, gritty, GREAT!!!! August 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Three short stories of Irish folklore. A fair maiden seeks protection from an arranged marriage among the rulers of the Otherworld. A king abandons his throne and riches to win back his bride from a faerie lord. A young queen (who will be familiar from another famous fairy tale) finds comfort in a traveling minstrel's songs while her husband is off to battle. In the tradition of the Brothers Grimm, these tales are dark and full of real emotion. They are replete with the fantastical magic and wonder of Celtic lore, but also rich with the gritty authenticity of reality. As the title suggests, there is usually no "happily ever after," and when there is, it is at the end of a long and harrowing adversity. All throughout, the timeless values of love, honor, and self-sacrifice ring true, even in the hearts of imperfect, all-too-human characters. An award-winning and critically-acclaimed novelist, Ruth Nestvold brings us three compelling tales of love and loss, all set among the romantic backdrop of ancient, magical Ireland. Expertly crafted with a fresh professionalism, "Never Ever After" earns the distinction of being the first work I have awarded a perfect 5-star score. I anxiously await Nestvold's next installment of Celtic fairy tales, maybe next time with some leprechauns.... please?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! August 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
These 3 short fairy tales are quite simply enchanting! Ruth Nestvold writes beautifully and breathes life into her stories. Any one who loves fairy tales will enjoy these quick reads.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Never Ever After March 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This book only took approximately half an hour to read but was enjoyable nonetheless. All three stories were exceptionally well written with a lovely blend of fantasy and realism. The imagery in all the stories was very vivid and it was easy to visualize the different settings. All the stories had an element of poignancy and they all seemed to describe the bittersweetness of love and that in life, there is no gain without loss. These stories were not what I think of when I think about fairy tales, but I enjoyed reading them and I appreciated their originality. If asked if I would recommend this book, I would say "yes."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative stories for the heart
As this is a book of short stories, I will try to say something about each story... The first story, A Serca Tale, I found myself thinking that everything that needed to happen to... Read more
Published on January 13, 2013 by Mirrani
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Folk Tales
I enjoyed these 3 stories by Ruth Nestvold, but my favourite was Kind Orfeigh. All 3 tales had a ring of authenticity - as if the author had researched old folk tales, then retold... Read more
Published on September 4, 2012 by Epithet
1.0 out of 5 stars Never Ever After: Three Short Stories
These are not stories. At best, these are a middle schoolers outline notes for an introductory paragraph to a shallow story. The efforts to seem creative were labored. Read more
Published on August 6, 2012 by Kitty
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Tales Made New
I enjoyed this book because of the refreshing retelling of tales. This is a short book and can easily be read in one sitting. Read more
Published on July 17, 2012 by retired teacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I usually just skip over fanasty books but I am glad I got this one. There are 3 short fairy tales. I did not care to much for the first one, A Serca Tale, but I like the other... Read more
Published on June 22, 2012 by Heidi
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done
Three sort of Irish BARD tales of the old days well told in easy language with some subtlety. Life, death, romance, duty honor. All these are hard, sometimes, to bear. Read more
Published on June 21, 2012 by Michael Burke
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, charming stories
I am not going to summarize the plots of the three stories since it has already been done twice but I will say that all three stories were exceptionally well written with a lovely... Read more
Published on April 29, 2012 by Dafna Yee
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More About the Author

Since about the age six, Ruth Nestvold wanted to be a writer (besides wanting to be a singer and an actress and President of the United States), but for too many years she put practical pursuits first and writing fiction second. After completing a Ph.D. in literature and working as lecturer and assistant professor at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Freiburg, she took time off from academic pursuits to attend the Clarion West Writers Workshop, a six week "boot camp" for writers of science fiction and fantasy. She learned more there than she could have dreamed possible, changed her priorities, and gave up theory for imagination. Two years later, she sold her first short story to the acclaimed science fiction magazine, Asimov's. Since then, she has sold over forty pieces of short fiction to a variety of markets, including Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, and several year's best anthologies. She has been nominated for the Nebula, the Sturgeon, and the Tiptree awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" for best international work. Her novel Yseult appeared in German translation as Flamme und Harfe with Random House Germany and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. It is now available as an ebook in the original English. It was followed in June 2012 by the second book in the Pendragon Chronicles, "Shadow of Stone" ( She taught creative writing for a semester at the University of Stuttgart, participates regularly in online writing workshops, and founded the Villa Diodati workshop for English-speaking writers of speculative fiction in Europe. She maintains a web site at


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