The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle
Author: Christopher Healy
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Age Group: Middle Grade
Source: ARC from publisher for honest review
Good Reads | Amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Summary from GoodReads:
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You remember them, don’t you? They’re the Princes Charming who finally got some credit after they stepped out of the shadows of their princesses – Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose – to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms.
But alas, such fame and recognition only last so long. And when the princes discover that an object of great power might fall into any number of wrong hands, they are going to have to once again band together to stop it from happening – even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.
Christopher Healy, author of the acclaimed The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, takes us back to the hilariously fractured fairy-tale world he created for another tale of medieval mischief. Magical gemstones, bladejaw eels, a mysterious Gray Phantom, and two maniacal warlords bent on world domination – it’s all in a day’s work for the League of Princes.
This is a review of the second book in a series. I’ve tried not to mention any spoilers from the first book, but just in case, here’s your warning. Also, feel free to check out my review of the first book, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.
Being a children’s librarian, I read a lot of middle grade novels. I LOVE middle grade books, but when I read Christopher Healy’s debut The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, I knew it was something special. Obviously, I was anxiously awaiting the sequel to Saving Your Kingdom. When the publisher offered to send me an ARC I was ECSTATIC. I had to force myself to wait to read it until a little closer to the release date (talk about a struggle!). I was so happy to jump back into the world of the Princes Charming.
There are so many things that I love about about Christopher Healy’s books. The humor in these two books is spot on. It’s perfect for middle grade readers, but it is also perfect for teens, and adults. The plot strong, and just as importantly, fun! And, in my opinion, the best part of these two books are the characters.
I love that each prince has his own distinct personality. They are far from perfect, but they all have their strengths. I have a very strong fondness for Duncan, and that definitely carried over into Storming the Castle. You just can’t help but love Duncan’s bumbling antics. Even though Duncan completely stole my heart, Princes Liam, Frederic and Gustav are a pleasure to read about.
Something else I adore in The Hero’s Guides is that even the villains get a lot of character development. They’re villains, so of course they aren’t nice, but somehow the readers end up loving them nonetheless. Of course, the Bandit King is back, and he is just as devilishly awesome in Storming the Castle as his was in Saving Your Kingdom. We also get a few new villains in this book, some more creepy than others.
It was great to see the princesses get more “screen time” in the second book. And let me tell you ,they definitely do their part in saving the day. We really get to see Snow White and Duncan’s relationship in this book, and it was brilliantly. Those two BELONG together. Cinderella and Rapunzel get to do some hero’s work, and even Briar Rose plays an interesting role in this story.
Did I love this as much as the first – no. Did I still think this was a totally awesome sequel to a totally awesome book – HECK YEAH! If you’ve never read middle grade, start with this series. If you’ve read middle grade, but not this book, pick this series up. If you think middle grade isn’t your thing – read this series, and then tell me if that is still true. Basically what I’m say is that these books are not to be missed.