Ace, July 2002, 6.50, 272 pp.
Prince Althelstan has been ordered by his father to marry a princess but the only one available is two years old. Not willing to wait that long, he follows clues that lead to a castle where all the denizens are in an enchanted slumber. When he gets there he finds three sleeping princes who need a princess to wake them up.
Althelstan returns to his home to ask his adventurous cousin Lady Vevila to come with him and kiss the three princes. Always game for some derring-do, she agrees. When they arrive at sleeping castle, the witch who cast the spell on the princes says Vevila must pass a princess test. She does from a dwarf named Rumpelstiltskin who wants her to kiss a frog. The situation quickly goes downhill from there.
NEVER AFTER is a whimsical and light-hearted fantasy that satirizes the fairy tales that most readers have heard when they were growing up. The audience will love this magical tale due in large part to the characters that come from various well-known fairy tales. Rebecca Lickiss is a refreshing voice in the fantasy genre.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner