This captivating tale will attract lovers of all things impish and clandestine—romance at its best.
Enchantment, whimsy, and fun spin this heart-warming tale into a make-believe realm filled with storybook characters. Well-suited to the fantasy genre, Killian B. Brewer’s The Rules of Ever After is a coming-of-age novel that brings two vibrant young men together in a touching gay romance that explores the meaning of love.
Lighthearted, yet embedded with veiled social statements, this extraordinary escapade into the heart of a true relationship delves into the royal kingdoms of Clarameer, which is governed by old-fashioned tradition and has been restrained by established rules for thousands of years. Prince Phillip and Prince Daniel know they cannot accept these terms, and now they must find the courage to plan their own agenda for the future.
Lightning-quick in its pacing, this rather choppy plot barrels in countless directions, quite intentional of course, in an attempt to outsmart the pursuer with unexpected events and surprise encounters. Laced with spicy humor and steeped in sparkling dialogue, Brewer suffuses his writing with tongue-in-cheek wit. Heavy on action and light on introspection, every paragraph gets to the point with a direct, conversational style. An admirable command of language makes up for a somewhat overwhelming cast of characters. Protagonists reveal their motivations through demonstrable intent and thoughts that test the inner psyche:
Daniel stood in the hallway before the king’s bedchamber door and shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. He knew he needed to enter and offer his support, but wasn’t sure Prince Phillip would want to see him. While he was certain Phillip and he had made a connection while chatting in that absurdly tall bed, Daniel was utterly confused by Phillip’s sudden suggestion of marriage, the fantastic tales of the scribe, and the madness that ensued with Phillip’s stepmother.
Like any nervous lover, Daniel fears rejection: “For all he knew, Phillip could very well run into his embrace, ignore him completely, or even order him out of the kingdom.”
The Rules of Ever After may be pure entertainment, but hidden behind its mystique is a parable—each player cast in a role designated by society. Only those who refuse to perform according to preordained standards will leave the greatest mark on the world. The fresh, childlike twist on “coming out” will elicit laughter as well as tears in a touching portrayal of youthful infatuation and tender adoration. This captivating tale will attract lovers of all things impish and clandestine—romance at its best.
The author earned a bachelor’s degree in English and infuses his work with the southern storytelling finesse of his native Georgia. A charming style with a discreet wink lifts his novel from mediocrity to magic.
Julia Ann Charpentier
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