The rules of royal life have governed the kingdoms of Clarameer for thousands of years, but Prince Phillip and Prince Daniel know that these rules don’t provide for the happily ever after they seek.
A fateful, sleepless night brings the two young men together and sends them on a quest out into the kingdoms. On their travels, they encounter meddlesome fairies, an ambitious stepmother, disgruntled princesses and vengeful kings as they learn about life, love, friendship and family. Most of all, the two young men must learn how to write their own rules of ever after.
What do you get when you mix an evil step mother, a troll king, several unconventional princesses, a couple of princes who break the rules and some meddling birthday fairies? You get an adventure that is rolicking good fun and one happy ending to end all happy endings. Brewer takes some familiar tales and weaves them into a masterful new tale that’s entirely fresh and uniquely his. All the familiar tropes are here but Brewer deftly creates a cast of loveable characters and a tale that’s light-hearted and funny. This is a modern fairy tale that manages to keep the feel of traditional tales while breaking new ground. And of course we get one awesome happy ending that breaks all the rules of ever after. I was amazed to find that this is the author’s first book and if this is his introduction, I for one can’t wait to see what comes next. This is a book that I can’t recommend highly enough.
“Phillip, don’t believe all those stories your scribe told you. Magic is not defeated by waiting for someone to come rescue you from it. You have to fight it.” Daniel paused and took a breath before reaching out to take Phillip’s hand again. “I sat around for two years waiting for someone to come along and fix my problems. No one came, and nothing changed. Then I realized that maybe the person I was waiting for was me. So I went out to find my own answers.”
“I’m not you. I don’t even know where to begin.” Phillip sat back on the edge of the bed.
“You begin the way everyone does,” Daniel explained, “one foot in front of the other.”
“I’ve barely been out of this castle. I don’t know what’s out there.”
“Well, you’re in luck. You know someone who does.”
“What? Who?” Phillip cocked his head and stared at Daniel in confusion.
“Me!” Daniel winked and pointed to his chest. “I know what’s out there. I’ve been wandering all over the kingdoms for months now. I’ve studied the maps and the histories. I know how to fight and how to survive.” Daniel stood up. “I’ll come with you,” he continued. “I’ll help you find her, and we’ll bring her down together. We will fix this.”
Daniel could almost see the wheels turn in Phillip’s head as he considered Daniel’s offer. He looked over at his father, then back down at his feet before glancing up to Daniel with a look of tentative hope. “Why would you do that?”
Daniel pondered the question for a moment, unsure of the answer himself. The pain in Phillip’s face touched Daniel’s heart and made him want to bring back the mischievous, laughing man he had met just two nights before. This was not his problem, and he had his own concerns to deal with, but looking at Phillip’s terrified face, he knew he wanted to help. He knew he had to.
“I’m not being completely selfless. I’m still going to be looking for my own answers. But I can help you look, too.” Daniel held his hand out to Phillip. “Come with me. Let’s go get you some food and make a plan.”
“You’re just saying this to get me to eat.”
“No. As I said, I feel responsible. If I hadn’t gotten in that bed—”
“But you did.” Phillip mumbled before turning to look at Daniel with his eyes wide. “And you passed the test. I thought for sure you were the answer—”
“The test? I still don’t understand about this test.”
“Yes. You were the first to spend the night in the bed and be kept awake by the pea under the mattresses. Okay, maybe some of the others could have passed if I hadn’t—”
“Phillip? You think a pea kept me awake?” Daniel stepped back and knitted his brows; he had clearly missed some element of that awful night’s events. Though he was glad to see some sign of activity from Phillip, Daniel was thoroughly confused. “Why was there a pea under—”
“Yes. You passed the test. Maybe it is a sign!” Phillip stood and turned to Daniel; excitement spread across his face. “Maybe you are here to help me.”
Killian B. Brewer grew up in a family where the best way to be heard was to tell a good story, therefore he developed an early love of storytelling, puns and wordplay. He began writing poetry and short fiction at 15 and continued in college where he earned a BA in English. He does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry.
He currently lives in Georgia with his partner of ten years and their dog. Growing up in the South gave him a funny accent and a love of grits. The Rules of Ever After is his first novel.