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.
Cute, Queer and camp, this is such a good fantasy read if you’re looking for pure fun fluff. The found family trope is one of my favourites, but you don’t usually get to meet them when they’ve already reached the end of their epic quest.
The world building here is pretty basic, but it didn’t matter. There was enough to picture the world and really, this is a rom com that just happens to be set in a fantasy world. What promises at first to finally be a rest and reward for the friends as they settle in their newly acquired castle becomes chaotic as Arek attempts to woo each of his friends to survive his newly acquired curse.
I love unapologetically Queer books that are filled with diverse characters, but have no prejudice in the world, it’s completely normal for a Princess to love a woman and the newly crowned King to have no gender preferences. I need a whole collection of books like this.