Happily Ever After (Once Upon Another Time Book 3)

 
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Happily Ever After (Once Upon Another Time Book 3)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 30, 2023
ISBN
978-1665904926
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The third and final book in a new trilogy of twisted fairy tales from New York Times bestselling author James Riley, set in the world of his popular Half Upon a Time series, that’s perfect for fans of Fablehaven and Chris Colfer’s A Tale of Magic series!

Who doesn’t love a good Happily Ever After? The Cursed City is now the Blessed City, with its residents’ curses removed. Lena is now fully human, as are the rest of the giants, and together they live in peace with all the other humans in the city, all their differences now gone. And sure, Jin might have disappeared, but really, genie magic only caused trouble.

At least, that’s what the magic spell in Lena’s head is telling her. But somewhere inside, she knows that this new world isn’t right, that no real Happily Ever After would take her giant heritage from her…and that Jin is in danger.

When things are at their darkest, can a single Spark light the way?

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Happily Ever After or is It?
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I liked:
Anytime an author uses a book inside a book and breaks the fourth wall to talk to the readers, it makes for an interesting tale. James Riley has created a wonderful world in his Once Upon a Time book with characters from just about every fairy tale under the sun, which makes these books a great place to start for middle-grade readers. They already know the characters. I feel the ending was more rushed than needed, but it was fun to spend time in this world again. The dual points of view help propel the story and keep you engaged as you read.
Final Verdict:
An interesting wrap-up to these three books. Even with the Fairy Queens working against them, Lena and Shefin free the djinn and save the kingdoms. Plenty of humor and sarcastic wit for middle-grade readers. This book starts slowly, but the action picks up about halfway through. With the rushed ending, this was not my favorite of the three books.
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So many themes to spark discussion
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
The Fairy Queens have nearly succeeded in everything they ever wanted. With absolute power comes absolute abuse, and a populace brainwashed into believing them and turning on each other to keep to the new ways. This theme would be a great topic for discussion and connect it to history and worldwide trends.
Lena is down to only a few allies to stop the fairy queens and along the way story magic helps her gain a better understanding by showing her people’s backstories. Knowing someone’s past leads to empathy but not necessarily forgiveness, because people are still responsible for their current actions even if they have had a difficult or traumatic past. This is another great theme ripe for exploration into the idea of justice.
The Fairy Queen’s backstory was unexpected but solidifies this world of crazy make-believe into something that feels a lot more real if magic was introduced to our world and had time to mix. It was an interesting point that when they chose a particularly cruel way to behave by punishing the sun giant, they sowed the seeds for the current creation of magical creatures their world contained and they detested.
Final Verdict: I missed that Jin was barely in this story and the levity his character brought to the story. This book goes deep into themes that make it great for a maturing audience that is ready to explore power dynamics, the justice system, self-exploration, and parallels to the LGBTQ+ community. Overall, this is a great story that can be approached on many levels. There was even a teaser at the end that hints at the possibility of another companion series in the future.

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User reviews

1 review
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5.0
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5.0(1)
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5.0(1)
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5.0(1)
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5.0(1)
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LOVE SPELL THAT WORK
Overall rating
 
5.0
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5.0
Characters
 
5.0
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5.0
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5.0
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