Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this funny, subversive young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.
Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.
As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.
With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
Light and fluffy. I saw a Goodreads review that described this book as the post-canon adventures of a DnD campaign where the DM has preemptively decided who the endgame couple is and honestly, that’s pretty spot on. We open with our Chosen One, Arek (soon to be King Arek) having just slain the Vile One and through a series of mishaps, ends up King. Arek, who’s had a crush on party mage Matt, soon discovers that if he doesn’t wed someone by his 18th birthday, he’ll fade away. Thus ensues the shenanigans of Arek pursuing every possible marriage candidate but the right one, and how he ends up doing so anyway. This is probably the closest I’ve seen to slice-of-life in a fantasy Chosen One-style novel, with the writing definitely geared towards the younger side of the YA crowd. My only criticism is that there are multiple scenes where characters go to bed with their shoes still on. Overall, I rate this book a 3.5/5.
r/Fantasy 2021-22 Bingo Squares:
- 1st Person POV
- Comfort Reaad
- Trans/NB Character