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Fables, Vol. 21: Happily Ever After

(Fables (Collected Editions) #21)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,705 ratings  ·  299 reviews
In this penultimate volume of Bill Willingham’s Fables, the residents of Fabletown look to live “happily ever after,” but there is a steep price to pay for happiness as Rose Red clashes with Snow White!

Collecting: Fables 141-149
Paperback, Trade, 200 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Vertigo Comics
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  3,705 ratings  ·  299 reviews

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Sean Gibson
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
And so begins the end.

I think I need to keep this brief, because I’ll undoubtedly wax nostalgic, poetic, and philosophical at the conclusion of Vol. 22. I guess it’s good that you can’t see me as I type, as I’m an ugly crier, and I suspect there will be a fair bit of waterworks at that point (albeit incredibly masculine ones).

What can I say in brief about this volume, then? I suppose it’s fitting that a series that began with Snow White and Rose Red involved in key roles winds down the same way
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another great volume from Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham. The only thing bad about this series is that it's coming to an end.
May 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Man, I used to love this series. I started falling out of love after Fables, Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland, and it hasn't really been the same since. He just seems like a kid breaking his own toys now.

The jumping back and forth between plots in this volume (and several before this) was just chaotic and frustrating. Although I liked a few of the wrap-up stories, particularly Briar Rose's, it was a messy way to tie up loose ends before the big finish.

There's only one left, so of course, I'll read it. I
Well. That was a disappointment, especially considering the next one is the last. Nothing major really happened, it was all about moving pieces around for the conclusion. Which I hope is more entertaining than this was. Yawn.
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Eugh... Honestly I'm just so disappointed to see what my favourite comic series has turned into. It's time to admit I've been inflating my ratings for Fables for a while, trying to convince myself it still is as good as I want it to be. But it's not. And it's actually kind of horrible to see characters I once really liked acting like complete idiots as they're ragged through this completely arbitrary and stupid 'can't fight fate' Rose Red v Snow White ultimate battle to the death bolloxing story ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I know this series is in the tough position of having to provide closure for a lot of characters, and bring the series to a satisfying end. I'm just a little confused by the high body count, considering that it was long established that most popular fables could bounce back again and again by the power of their stories. Did that change at some point? In any case, it's distressing, though better than the butchery of the Unwritten crossover, which I am attempting to unread and put out of my memory ...more
Again, another great volume. I freaking love this series!!
Michael Cairns
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
So, this series had some good bits and some not so good bits. I've been struggling a little with the last 50 or so issues in this series, just because it's felt so disparate and unconnected. I think the danger with any comic series that lasts this long but isn't intrinsically episodic is exactly what's happened here, the feeling that the author didn't really know where he was going.
Having said that, there have been sparks of genius, from learning about Rose and Snow's mother, to the final stori
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I've been a fan of the Fables series for years, and would still recommend it for new readers -- but I have to tell them to stop well before this train wreck of character derailment.

It's possibly that the reader is supposed to believe that some powerful enchantment (or narrative force? or fate?) is leading to a conflict so insistently that all the characters take stupid pills -- because the characters we've loved for years act really irrationally here, especially Ozma, Totenkinder, and Rose and S
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The Fables series is drawing to a close and that is obvious from the various ending stories of Fables characters. Now without being spoilery, this issue is the set up for a penultimate conflict. We find out the "origin" of Rose Red and Snow White, as well as the story of their mother and the family "curse". It seems they are fated to fight.

Lancelot and Prince Brandish have a fight and Bigby is back, but certainly not himself. This is an issue that feels important due to the fact it is setting up
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In which Fabletown and The Farm's Fables begins to breakdown into 2 opposing camps; In which a sister opposes a sister; In which wild magis arrives; In which a Wolf becomes a Big Bad Wolf; and a bad prince doesn't change his ways!
All action non-stop frenzy like penultimate volume that sort of annoyed me on first reading; on second (slower) reading it all kind of makes sense, as this is the world of fairy tales and fables where legacies, destinies and most important of all rules all mean somethi
Quentin Wallace
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everythings finally coming to a head. This volume has several short "Last Story" Vignettes that wrap up the stories of most of the major characters in just a page or two. The main story deals with Bigby Wolf's rampage, Mrs. Spratt and Brandish's machinations, and sadly, the final battle between Rose Red and Snow White. I have a feeling the last volume is going to be an emotional one. I hate to see this series end.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam Wescott
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Ugh. I hate rating this volume so low, because it really it is a heart-rending approach to the end of a long series that I very much enjoyed. But... I'm just not buying the character's actions? Like... The Brandish plot line was really interesting and made some sense, but all this nonsense with Rose and Snow... the transition from sibling rivalry to war, betrayal, (view spoiler) was really poorly written. It just kind of happened and the reader is su ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
3 stars.

Well, that was...anti-climactic. I was all geared up for a showdown but nothing really happens. This volume felt like a huge buildup with no payoff. The only part I liked is the backstory of sorts for Rose Red and Snow White. Oh's hoping that the last volume in the series will be a lot better than this one.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just when i thought this story couldnt get any darker...Damn. Great story. Sad to see it almost ending.
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's true that not that much happens, but it's still a great build-up to the last volume! I'm not ready to say good-bye...
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
Even more plot set up and changing characters motivations to suit the story. The side show stories were again better - at least they had endings.
Amanda Roper
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite. Everything seems bleak and evil and I really dislike the jaunty little side stories. They don't hold much appeal to me (I *hate* Jack)
3.5 stars

******Possible SPOILER for earlier volumes*******
Bigby is back (sort of) but on a rampage.
******END SPOILER******
Magic is no longer concealing Fabletown (and, in particular, a castle) from the residents of New York City. We are gearing up for a battle between the sisters, Snow White and Rose Red.

Well, I wouldn’t say this lives up to “happily ever after”! There is one more volume to go. As usual, there are lots of different stories going on in this one volume, so I enjoyed some stories
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it

What I believe they meant was Depressing Beyond Belief, Sucker.


Actually you know what? I'm not fine.
This was too bleak for me.
Everything I care about is crumbling.
Everyone I care about is destined to die.
Everyone I hate is prevailing.

4 Stars because I once again give a damn.
2.5 stars. Some interesting stuff in here, and it's very clear it's close to the end with lots of mini-stories for a lot of the characters in addition to the longer plot. Don't like where the longer plot is going but with one issue to go I would rather get to that one, than ponder this one!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wing Kee
Body bags...

So, this is the penultimate arc. Where all the pieces are finally in place for the epic finale. If it's not the end, why do u already have tears in my eyes?

World: Buckingham is amazing as always, as are the other wonderful artists giving their talents for the final little tales in this amazing Saga. Even in the penultimate arc we still have massive world building here. A lot of character history and consequences. I won't spoil anything as if you are still here after 140 issues you wi
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is the 21st volume (the 2nd to last) in the Fables series. It did an excellent job of continuing the whole Rose versus Snow storyline that has been ongoing. It also did a great job of wrapping up the stories of many other random characters throughout the series.

Rose Red has started her round table of knights in what she believes is a positive (but a bit misguided) way to rule the Fables and is determined to hunt down and kill the monster Bigby has become. Snow White has long ruled Fabletown
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Read this along with Volume 22: Farewell. There is a sense that an ending is coming, and I can't help but feel that Willingham was trying to plan it such that it all ties in neatly by issue 150 (aka Volume 22). Short stories which tell the last stories of various Fable characters are peppered throughout the book, bringing closure to some of these characters that we'll never see again.

Once thing that I just can't shake is the weirdness of this impending battle between Snow White and Rose Red. Sur
Mark Schlatter
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Huh... this is a fairly hard volume to evaluate, given that we end on a huge cliffhanger before the final volume. You cannot say that Willingham is taking it easy at the end of the series --- we have several big changes to the status quo of the Fables, including several reappearances. On the plus side, all of the art of the main storyline is Buckingham (with a few pages of finishes by other artists). The other pieces (not done by Buckingham) are one to four pages, all in the theme of "The Last S ...more
Emily Green
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was thrilled when I found this volume available at the library. Yay, Fables!

And Rose Red and Snow White are two of my favorites. To see them pitted against each other, and to find out who is going to be good and who is not sounds like a great story. Except that suddenly, both take on personalities completely different from the Rose and Snow that we know and love. The story seems to suggest that characters swept up in a story begin to lose their ability to choose, but it really does not do enou
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I can't even begin to describe what a disappointment these last few issues have been. I feel like Willingham threw away pages and pages of character development and growth just because he thought it'd be cool for the series to end with Rose Red and Snow fighting (for no good legit reason). I also hate what they've done with Bigby. You're practically benching your best character in the last issues for the sake of turning him into a zombie slave. Ugh! Let's get this last book over with...
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In the late 1970s to early 1980s he drew fantasy ink pictures for the Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert game rulebooks. He first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and drew. However, for reasons unknown, the series had trouble maintaining an original schedule, and Willingham's position in the industry remained spotty for many year ...more

Other books in the series

Fables (Collected Editions) (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
  • Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm
  • Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love
  • Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
  • Fables, Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons
  • Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands
  • Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)
  • Fables, Vol. 8: Wolves
  • Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire
  • Fables, Vol. 10: The Good Prince

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When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
84 likes · 15 comments
“Mr Cricket: So what are you going to do?

Rose Red: Fight like a motherfucker, of course. Fight like I've got a chance. Hell if I'm just going to roll over and show throat.”
“No thanks. This is a lovely dream, but it's a child's dream. I know some who'd argue the point, but I grew up long ago. - Rose Red (Fables: Vol.21, Happily Ever After)” 2 likes
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