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Never Ever After: Three Short Stories by [Nestvold, Ruth]
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Never Ever After: Three Short Stories Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 35 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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: 174 KB
  • Print Length: 35 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Dragon Books (January 27, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 27, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072V9HDQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kriti Godey on 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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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?
Read more ›
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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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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 move the plot along happened because of some kind of spell. I was upset that this would be the thing to push the plot along. There could have been more to the story of a woman trying to get out of an arranged marriage, but I felt more like this was just the quick throwing together of two people. There was some good story in it, I just wasn't captivated.

The second story, King Orfeigh was very interesting to me. I found it touching that a man would do all he could to find the woman he loved, that he would give up everything in order to be with her again. The journey of how he does this, and why, is the interesting part, so I won't reveal it.

Happily Ever Awhile is literally a Cinderella story, but it is honest and real. What happens after the wedding? How does family and the court and happiness blend together into something that is manageable and all within reach? It's both heartwarming and a heart breaker, which isn't as unbalanced as it sounds.
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