EVER AFTER by Kate SeRine
Kate Serine’s Transplanted Tales is my favorite fairy tale-inspired series. The series gist is very similar to the TV show Once Upon a Time: a rift happens, and our beloved characters from lores, legends, myths, and tales of old are transplanted to our world. Some have managed to stay true to their characters as they were in the tales, some are almost unrecognizable, while others managed to do both like the heroes and heroines of each installment.
Ever After is book four of the series. The hero is Gideon, whom we’ve met in the earlier books, a loyal Unseelie guard to the royal fae family, and his lady love, Arabella aka Robin Hood. I was one of those fans who immediately took an immediate liking to Gideon in book two, The Better to See You, and lobbied for his own book so the poor guy can get his own HEA because despite Transplanted Tales being an urban fantasy, its core is still about love and romance.
I love how SeRine merged Arthurian Legend, Robin Hood, and Seelie Court in Ever After. I know you’re probably scratching your head thinking how is she going to combine all these great tales together while successfully creating a new story. Well, she did it. SeRine created logical timelines that enabled Robin Hood and an Unseelie guard to meet, fall in love, and be infamous together. One thing that I love about this series is SeRine has not bastardized the original stories. Yes, they are recreated and tweaked here and there to serve her purpose, but she pays great homage to the classics and I love her for it.
As for Arabella and Gideon, they compliment one another: Arabella is spontaneous, daring, and playful, while Gideon is all about logistics, calculated risks and carefully planned missions. I enjoyed their adventures as they retrieve Arthurian relics and cracking down the illegal fairy dust trade while reigniting the love and passion for each other. No case of insta-love here because these two have been madly in love for a long time; Another plus for me.
That said, I have to note that Ever After wasn’t as great as the previous books. The story is told in Gideon’s POV and for some reason the narration didn’t feel very male to me. I can’t put my finger to it; Gideon was too objective and even omniscient in some parts. Also I miss the humor that was consistent in the first three books.
The upside is the books can be read as stand-alones. There isn’t an overarching arc so you can read the series out of order if you choose to do so. And though Ever After might’ve missed a few marks for me, I still liked it and I’m looking forward to the next Transplanted Tale. SeRine is casting her net wide now, and I won’t be surprised if the next peeps we meet are from Oz, Wonderland, or even Narnia.
BRAINE is a great reader, a diligent reviewer but a lame fangirl because she’s easily overwhelmed by fandom. She usually hangs out at the blogosphere, reading vicariously through her blogger friends and is incessant in giving her two cents.