My biggest gripe with The Afterward by E. K. Johnston is that it sounds like a sequel to some sort of novel or series, but as far as my deductions have been able to ascertain, is not. And frankly, that just throws me off because despite sounding like an amazing novel, a part of me feels as though certain aspects of the story are completely missing. I think this is ultimately pretty fair, though, considering the fact that it’s set after the grand adventure of the main characters supposedly happened and instead addresses their lives as they cope with the notoriety that comes alongside saving the king. It’s definitely an interesting and unique path to take with a fantasy novel and has garnered my attention quite easily. I mean, the story’s central characters are female knights, which is exciting enough on its own without the added feature that the two knights had fallen in love whilst on their journey. Again, I cry…why isn’t this a sequel?!
Honestly, I’d love to read the story of how Kalanthe and Olsa fell in love as well as the story of their lives after the quest, when Kalanthe is meant to be searching for a husband and Olsa is unable to return to her life as a pickpocket. Despite having saved the king and therefore kingdom, neither of them are actually well taken care of as a result–which frankly would make me quite bitter–and therefore are forced into struggles that neither one of them truly deserves. I’m definitely curious to see where this novel takes me and I’m looking forward to getting a copy of it soon. It’s got a really good average rating thus far on Goodreads which only serves to provide more promise that this is going to be a fantastic read.
What do you think of this book so far? Is it something that you’re interested in or do you think that you might pass it up? Do you feel inclined to say that there should be a book preceding it or are you good with just this one? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments!