Kathy's Reviews > Never After

Never After by Laurell K. Hamilton
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Nov 03, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, faery, fantasy-romance, romance, short-stories
Read from October 28 to November 03, 2010

Can He Bake A Cherry Pie? .... Laurell Hamilton...
Elinore, a nobleman's daughter who wants entrance back into the king's court betrothes his daughter to a scummy, elderly, pervert earl... before their wedding can be announced, she says she will go to 'Save Prince True'... the current king's elder brother, who 50 years earlier displeased a sorceress with his arrogance, so she enslaved him until a woman's art could win the prince his freedom... the many who tried died or were never seen again... Elinore goes expecting to die, but to die without disgracing her family... she meets a giant with a club on the bridge, and kneels before him (because she didn't want to fall off the bridge) with her eyes closed), and the giant let her pass... then she meets the ogre who comes at her with a sword, but she stands with her eyes closed waiting to die, without screaming or fighting back - and the ogre lets her pass... and then she meets a sphinx, with it's questions of cloth dies and vegetables, and she answers them, and is allowed to pass... and then she meets the sorceress, and the prince.. and the sorceress offers her anyomous freedom or the chance to save the prince and be his wife with its jewels & power, and she takes the freedom (afterall, the prince is a bit too arrogant, and she does not believe his brother will easily give up his throne)... the prince & Elinore have a pie baking contest, and Elinore's pie is prettier, and sweeter... and she wins... so the sorceress gives her a dowry to start a bakery, she marries a baker and has children, and they are happy... the prince is allowed to be free (with stories of how Elinore nobley died), and after a few months was poisoned by his brother...

The Shadow of Mist... Yasmine Galenorn... Siobhan Morgan, a selkie - wereseal... born in Ireland - her mother was kidnapped and raped by her father, and they subsequently married, and her mother became a part of his pod... her mother never told her she was a princess in her own pod... but when Terrance (who ends up to be Finfolk/merman - bad... rapes and claims her - sanctioned by her parents as a way of keeping the selkie line; but she refuses to marry him, and escapes on a cruise ship to America... she hides for 100 years, and ends up on the Washington coast, where she falls in love with Mitch, a selkie. She hid her past from him, in part because she thought she was free... She's pregnant, and Terrance has found her - he severely beats up her fiance, and almost captures Siobhan... but with the help of the D'Artigo sisters (werecat, vampire, dragon) she manages to be free and to kill Terrance, with an overdose of glucose, when he traps her at the hospital and she injects him with the hypo on the nurses' desk. Mitch is healing, and understanding when she explains her past... and now knowing she is a princess, she reconnects with her mother - has dual citizenship between the washington pod & her mother's Irish pod... and her daughter may grow up to be a queen there... Cinderella? hmmmm

The Tangleroot Palace... Marjorie Liu ... I'm not sure of the fairy tale, maybe Sleeping Beauty - except the queen must stall imprisoned in the Tangleroot Palace, and must be visited each generation by a descendant of the red haired witch - to reinforce her belief in her confinement (hmmm?!)... Much of the story is told in images that aren't clear... by Mercenaries are attacking around the castle, and the king advertises for a husband for his daughter Sally who can fight off the mercenaries... and a warlord responds - his mother and her mother had been close friends... and she runs away to the Tangleroot forest, runs into Mikhail & his 2 friends - the Traveling Troop of Twister Riddle - and they rescue her from a nightmare... and she is attracted to Mikhail... and he follows her to the palace, and she rescues him from the icy water, her father finds her, and he comes to her as the Warlord... and they... live... happily... ever... after....

The Wrong Bridegroom by Sharon Shinn.... Olivia, strongwilled daughter of a not-so-good king... her mother died, she does not get along with her stepmother, and her father wants her to marry a noble Harwin - but Harwin is too boring for her... so Olivia contrives a contest, and she will marry the winner of the contest (one contest is fight dogs let into the human cage where the contestants are wearing cloth soaked in blood around their necks)... Harwin & Darius (a charming, traveling magician) tie, and she chooses Darius - she wants to delay the wedding to get to know her bridgegroom better, so agrees to travel with Darius and his sister to visit their grandmother... Harwin shows up the 2nd day of travel, telling her as he also won, he would go with her... and a day later her stepmother shows up - and we find out her father wants her dead because she has not produced a son - and she is hoping to get to the coast and freedom... and Olivia learns about herself, about her father, and most especially about Harwin - who is a good man who loves her, and respects her... and Olivia successfully defends her stepmother against treason charges, and Darius spells her father into a dog ... and Olivia and Harwin will rule together -
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