Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Author: Christopher Healy
Publisher: Waldon Pond Press, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
Age Group: Middle-Grade
Source: Borrowed from Public Library
Amazon    Barnes and Noble    IndieBound
Rating: 4 our of 5 stars

Summary From GoodReads:

Enter a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never head 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 associated terrors to become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

This title is the first in a series about the adventures of Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav. The second title is due out in 2013.

My Thoughts:

Oh my gosh, this book was awesome!  So much fun!  So, this book is definitely middle-grade (aimed at kids in fifth grade and up).  I had been reading so many teen books, it was nice to switch it up.  This book was just what I needed!  There are so many things I love about this book, so I am going to review this in a list form.

The Characters

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the characters are the most important to me when I am reading a book.  If I don’t like the main characters, then I am most certainly not going to like the book, no matter how wonderful the plot or writing is.  Luckily this book has AMAZING characters!

There are a lot of characters in this book, yet, somehow, Healy is able to make it very easy to keep track of all the different ones.  Let’s start with the Princes Charming: Liam (the most competent hero), Gustav (the brawn, and the never-give-upper), Frederic (prissy, fashion savvy prince), and Duncan (the odd-ball).  There is actually so much more to all the princes, and you get to see the princes discover this about each other.  And I have to tell you how much I love DUNCAN!  Duncan fan, right here.

The supporting characters are just as well developed.  I loved the Trolls!  And the dwarves (don’t let them hear you calling the dwarfs!), Flik, Frak, and Frank.  Ella was a great female character, as was Lila.  I also loved Reese the Ogre.

The backstory for Zaubera the Witch was such a nice touch.  Awesome.  Oh, and The Bandit King.  So fabulous.

The Chapter Titles

The chapter titles are hysterical.  Here are a few : “Prince Charming Misplaces His Bride,” “Prince Charming is Afraid of the Dark,” “Prince Charming Hugs Trees,” “Prince Charming Walks Into a Bar.”  The list goes on and on.

The Plot

The story is really interesting.  I loved the whole idea about the bards making the princes’ lives miserable, and never naming the actual princes, but just calling them Prince Charming.  It was great to see these four guys, all very different, meet up, and eventually become friends and work together.

Overall

This book was so much fun.  Definitely check it out.  I also think the kids and teens at my library are going to love it.  I am going to booktalk it up when I visit the schools to talk about the summer reading program.  The kids are going to eat this up.

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About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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