Eight More Short Fantasy Stories With Happy Endings

There’s never a bad time to read more stories with happy endings. Here are some recent favourites that brightened my day…

Pale Horsepower” by Cara Masten DiGirolamo

When Death comes to your shop to get her car repaired, don’t ask her for payment. But what if you do demand payment…and Death asks you what you’d prefer? Stories featuring Death are usually grim, but this one’s got a very clever, happy ending. A fun read.

The Only Way Out” by Louise Hughes

Annie takes people who want a fresh start to the middle of a dark bridge. Once they cross it, her customers’ existence is erased from everyone’s minds, giving them a second chance to start things over. It’s often a difficult, desperate choice, but Annie is here to support them. Tonight, though, she might have to do something she’s never done before—and discover that there are different ways of getting a new start. 

Memoirs of a One-Time Dragon-Slayer’s Apprentice” by George Nikolopoulos

On a Wednesday, a dragon-slayer arrives at Ilaria’s village and takes the little orphan as an apprentice. Together, they go after dragons, collecting them for the dragon-slayer’s master. Ilaria doesn’t like this work, and she’s not afraid to question it, even though it was a dragon that killed her mother and she now has the opportunity to avenge her. Both Master and apprentice have a lot to learn—how to slay dragons, yes, but also how to question, and how to love. Nikolopoulos’s story reads a bit like a Studio Ghibli movie, and I, for one, cannot have enough of those.

Always Be Prepared” by Ophelia Leong

This is the first time Petra, a young Knight, is out on a quest alone. The people don’t pay attention to her as she boards a train with a manuscript in her backpack, but Petra knows she must always be prepared for anything—even being attacked by another Knight in public. Can she make use of her skills, live up to her master’s training, and prove herself a worthy Knight? I loved Leong’s concept of knights roaming modern cities and have been keeping an eye out while riding the metro across New Delhi. You never know where your next quest might come from…

The Ransom of Miss Coraline Connelly” by Alix E. Harrow

Queen Jaref the Third, Empress of the Black Realms, has kidnapped little Coraline. All she wants as ransom is nine years of her parent/guardian’s life. Except, no one from Coraline’s family seems to be concerned. Queen Jaref’s letters receive no response, even after she reduces her demands. What can she do now? What kind of bargain can she make? 

Elizabeth’s Pirate Army” by Caroline M. Yoachim

No sooner had summer vacation started than a kraken showed up on Edgewood Street. Jimmy is building a pirate army to fight it and Elizabeth knows enough magic to help. But the boys are determined to do it all on their own, so Elizabeth decides to take matters in her hands—and so she starts her own army. 

Galaxy Girl and the November Monstrosity” by Aleksandra Hill

Sometimes, even being a superhero isn’t enough to please your family. Jessie knows that all too well. But it’s Thanksgiving. Can she finally convince her family that her talents are worthy of appreciation? 

A Box for Buttons, Tips and Rose Petal Jam” by Natalia Matolinets

(Translated from Ukrainian by Hanna Leliv) Vyshnia’s tip box always has a trick for everyone who tips, giving them what they really need. The alchemist who has started frequenting her cafe, however, does not intend to pay extra. He’s too occupied turning a large stone into gold to prove his skills. Vyshnia hopes for the best for her patrons, but the alchemist proves to be an exceptional case. What can she do? And will her efforts make a difference? This is one of the best cozy fantasy stories I’ve found since I set out to read more of them. A wonderful tale best enjoyed with a warm drink (and perhaps some rose petal jam).


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