post written by Emma Filbrun
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Not-So-Fairy Tales
Major Themes: Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis: As he goes on quest after quest to prove his bravery in order to win the hand of a beautiful young lady, Prince Everard learns what is in his own heart and what he must do to overcome his fears.
As a rule, I don’t like fantasy stories. Because I have loved all the other books I’ve read by Chautona Havig, however, I decided to try Everard. I’m glad I did! It was real enough that I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though some elements are rather fantastic.
Everard is on his way home from a war when the story opens. This war has been going on for a thousand years—or maybe only 700, no one knows for sure. What was the war fought over? No one seems to know the reasons for fighting, any more than they know for sure how long it was fought! That doesn’t matter too much, though; what matters is that it is now over and Everard is on his way home. He stops at the first farmhouse he comes to, and in his excitement over telling the good news, he somehow finds himself kissing the pretty girl at the farm! He is sure her father will come after him, but he doesn’t. Everard goes on home to his father, the king. After a few days, however, he takes a group of knights and goes back to propose marriage to the girl he kissed, as the only honorable thing to do.
This is where the story really gets interesting. The girl’s father is reluctant to give his daughter in marriage to the prince, and requires him to prove his bravery by completing a quest. He must bring back the head of the Dragon of Ironia. Everard goes to the Ironian Mountains and finds—no, I won’t spoil the surprise. Suffice it to say that Everard is sent on another quest . . . and another . . . and another. Will he ever be allowed to even propose to the girl? And if he does, will she accept him? Will he even learn to love her . . . or overcome his fear (or is is ego?) enough to talk to her? I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns that the plot took in Everard, and even enjoyed the author’s digressions from the story to talk directly to the reader! This was a very fun read. I believe it would even work as a family read aloud, although it’s pretty long (which is another factor that makes me love a well-written book!).