There’s so much to love about this book, y’all! It’s cute (adorable), it’s an easy read, it’s queer as heck.
Arek and his friends completed a quest, fulfill a prophecy, and kill the evil overlord!
But that’s what happens before the book.
Now Arek and his friends have to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. Also, he’s kind of accidentally king now, and he’ll die if a) he tries to abdicate or b) doesn’t find a life partner before he turns eighteen, which is in like 3 months.
This is where the easy read comes in. Arek is in love with is best friend. He’s convinced his best friend doesn’t return his feelings, so he ropes him into a scheme to find Arek into a hairbrained scheme to find a soulmate among their friend group.
You see where I’m going.
It’s so charming and you just want Arek and co to have their happy ending, despite all the self-sabotage and silliness (not to mention trauma).
There’s probably a better word or term for it, but the first word I thought of for this book was “gender-neutral.’ Like, gender and queerness are complete non-issues. They don’t do marriage, they do this kind of hand-fasting ceremony. People are queer and polyamorous and nonbinary all over the place and it’s just a fact of life. (The first character I noticed that was NB is a darling that I fell instantly in love with and I was so stressed that they might not get a happy ending BUT THEY DID. Gren for life!)
So This is Ever After is such a wonderful palate cleanser. There’s an ancient tragedy that keeps the story from getting too saccharine, and the watching the characters doing their best and succeeding is just so pleasant.
If you’ve been struggling with reader’s block, or need an escape from whatever stressful world events are happening when you’re reading this, I can’t recommend it enough.
And now I’m off to check out Lukens’ other books.