For Gant-o’-the-Lute, “ever after” has been less than happy. With the last of Carillon’s charm over him gone, the minstrel-king puts royalty behind him in pursuit of the music he once knew and the lifelong dream he let slip through his fingers. But dark whispers on the wind warn that time is running out – not only for Lute and the apprentice in his shadow, but the whole of earth and Sky.
~ The Story’s End (Book Seven of The Wilderhark Tales) ~
An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.
You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.
Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-storys-end-danielle-shipley/1122747861
The author had mentioned to keep my mind open as it's not all fun and happy like her previous books. I had not been prepared for it in The Surrogate Sea so was left surprised and a bit disappointed then. She was right about this book, I didn't feel extremely sad like the previous book but I struggled with everyone accepting their fates. I wanted someone to take more of an initiative of their fates and while some of them did, I don't recall exactly what they tried. The details were never spared but I'm also not sure what the reason for why things were ending. I wish that had been explained a bit more in the book.
Overall, I did like seeing a majority of the characters back. It's like seeing old friends again and we got to see a different side of Lute who was my favorite. A side where he's flawed and struggling, which was different but I still like him. Can't say he wins father of the year for me but he sort of tried. The pacing felt a bit choppy, probably because there were so many characters and snippets that it'd be difficult to have a constant flow with the different voices as there were multiple POVs. We have a few time skips in this book which I don't think had been in previous books but I saw the purpose of it in the story. It was interesting to gloss over some of the character's lives and most of my favorites had happy lives. I did feel more sympathetic for the West Wind in this book but she's still far from being my favorite.
The ending of the book felt like a last hurrah for the characters with the curtains slowly drawing closed over them, like most of them closing their eyes for their last slumber. I do like the little twist of the ending. At first I was confused then had to reread it again before I understood what had happened. I didn't even know that was possible in this world and am looking forward to what Ms. Shipley does with it. I've always enjoyed and admired Ms. Shipley's creativity.
I've been with this series since Ms. Shipley debut The Swan Prince. I'm a bit sad to say goodbye to these characters but I'm excited to see what future endeavors Ms. Shipley plans for the future. If you like super happy endings then I think you'd be fine with ending the series at The Sun's Rival but do continue if you like reading to the complete end of the series. Especially if you plan on reading Ms. Shipley's next series which she already has a new series coming out! If you guys like Robin Hood or King Arthur then you'll love The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale! It's for preorder right now and available July 12, 2016! So this month! Get to it! :D
2.9 out of 5 rating for me!
(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)
About the Author:
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it.
Writing credits include: “Inspired” (a novel); short stories in paranormal, fantasy, and Steampunk anthologies via Xchyler Publishing; and, of course, her series of fairytale retelling mash-ups, “The Wilderhark Tales”.
You can find and contact Danielle here: