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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 12 reviews
on February 25, 2012
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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on May 28, 2012
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? Or did the problems of real life enter into their fairy tale marriage? She has married a king and all is well, until he has to lead his men into battle. She is left at the castle with their two children and has to find ways to amuse herself until her husband returns.

What happens while her Prince Charming is gone? Does she still live a fairy tale life?

These stories were a joy to read. The novella is short, so it only took a few hours to read through them. If you are a fan of fairy tales, you would love these stories written from a unique perspective.
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on August 24, 2012
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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on April 29, 2012
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 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 andi appreciated their originality. If asked if I would recommend this book, I would say "yes."
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on June 22, 2012
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 two. My favorites where King Orfeign. It is about a king who's wife was wisked away by the charm of a faerie king. He goes to reclaim her as his own.
The third one is Happily Ever Awhile. It is about Cinderella after she married the prince, and he becomes king. Much better than any Disney version of Cinderella.
I recommend this book to any lover of fanasty or fairy tales.
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on July 16, 2017
Likr reading short stories. They ate fun and take me away from the daily grind of my life and work
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on July 17, 2012
I enjoyed this book because of the refreshing retelling of tales. This is a short book and can easily be read in one sitting. The three stories are "A Serca Tale," "King Orfeigh," and "Happily Ever After." I agree with most of the other reviewers that "King Orfeigh" is my favorite because it is the protagonist's sacrifice of everything for his true love.
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on September 4, 2012
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 them in modern English. They all dealt with the subject of love, but from different aspects - love won, regained and lost. I would read another book by this author.
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on August 6, 2012
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. I kept expecting each "story" to get better, but each ended (thank goodness) before they started. I couldn't even tell you the target audience. Fantasy? Young Adult? Mindless escapism? Nope. I gave it one star for grammar - and that was a gift. I got what I paid for.
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VINE VOICEon June 21, 2012
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. The words of these tales could have spilled from the lips of a story teller yesterday or a thousand years ago. Good stories. Well told.
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