Thursday, March 21, 2013

37:120 Never After by Hamilton, Galenorn, Lui, & Shinn

A collection of four tales of magic, love, and matrimony by four bestselling authors.

Can He Bake a Cherry Pie? by Laurell K. Hamilton - Elinore has been promised into matrimony by her father to a perverted old man and she has decided to do the one thing she could think of to get out of the marriage...Go on a quest to free the captured Prince.  She will either die in the trying as so many others have done or free him and become his bride and Queen.  Either one will grant her escape from her "intended".  As she sets on her quest, she faces many trials and at the end the biggest one is dealing with pompous prince once he is found but in the end, she gets her greatest wish....freedom.

The Shadow of Mist by Yasmine Galenorn - Siobhan, the selkie, finally has everything she ever dreamed of. She is pregnant by the man she loves with a daughter and planning their nuptials.  Then with one phone call, it all comes crashing down around her as the life she had fled over a century ago has caught up to her and is threatening to kill her love and unborn child.  With no one else to turn to, she calls the D'Artigo sisters and in the process she learns more about her past than she ever could have guessed.

The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie M. Liu - Sally's father, the King, is having difficulties along his border and has decided to fix it the only way he can by promising her in marriage to a powerful warlord who has a reputation for cruelty beyond measure.  To keep this from happening, she runs to the Tangleroot Palace, a wood filled with magic and danger after an evil Witch was imprisoned there in her own magic.  Before she can enter it, she finds a group of traveling entertainers who look after her and travel with her for a bit.  One, Mikel, is enchanting beyond what he can do with sleight of hand but she knows that there can be nothing between them and her father would kill Mikel if he suspected anything so she runs from that towards The Tangleroot Palace again.  There she confronts the Witch and her heart.  Maybe the Warlord wouldn't have been so bad after all?

The Wrong Bridegroom by Sharon Shinn - Princess Olivia has been betrothed to Harwin since they were children but as the time grows nearer, she finds that she cannot stand the thought of being married to plain and stoic Harwin so she convinces her father to find her another suitor.  The King holds a competition but two manage to win their way through every event: Harwin and the traveler boy with magic she has become infatuated with, Darius.  She is allowed to choose and picks Darius and is given a month to get to know her betrothed better but once they hit the road, she finds that Darius may be too much of what he seems and Harwin is not as bad as she once thought.

I was honestly amazed at how wonderful all these tales were.  I had never read anything by the later two authors although I have some of Ms. Liu's books on my to-read pile but I think I need to find Sharon Shinn as well.  A truly fabulous set of fantasy tales.

Page count: 393p/9,474p ytd/153,894p lifetime

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