By Christopher Healy
Illustrated by Todd Harris
Published by Walden Pond Press
"Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes--a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems." - Goodreads
What a great read! Put aside all your fears about middle grade books (yes, those, "but it's too young for me", "it's FAIRY TALES", "I'm too old"), let that love of adventure and laughter move you to pick up this book! Trust me, no matter what your age, you will fall in love with these characters and their unique situation.
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (from this point on referred to as THGTSYK), is a fresh take on the classic fairytales: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel. What do you really know about these tales? Don't answer that, it was rhetorical. Basically, you don't know the half of it. Healy takes the tales we know and adds on to it with his own twists, creating a whole new story with whole new characters. Every character be it a Prince or a Princess or a Troll or a Bandit, they have very unique qualities and personalities that simply make them shine. The four Princes Charming have a quirky chemistry together that will have you laughing and smiling throughout their adventure. I love them all SO much that I just want to burst! Simply put: they rock.
The pace of THGTSYK is great, it's not cheetah speed but it's not snail speed. The style in which it was written was different and it worked great. The humor present lifted my spirits and had me in a feel good mood: the perfect emotion I want when reading a fairytale-based book. I think the thing that I most appreciated though were the illustrations. They were absolutely gorgeous and help you to envision what is happening.
I'd highly recommend this to people of EVERY age. It will have you laughing, gasping, giggling, smiling, and most of all entranced. It's truly a fairytale mash up for everyone!
Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn't know that, did you? Don't worry. There's a lot you don't know about Prince Charming: Prince Charming has no idea how to use a sword; Prince Charming has no patience for dwarfs; Prince Charming has an irrational hatred of capes. Some of you may not even realize that there's more than one Prince Charming. And that none of them are actually named Charming. No one is. Charming isn't a name; it's an adjective. But don't blame yourself for you lack of Prince Charming-based knowledge; blame the lazy bards.