Book Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Published May 1st 2012 by Walden Pond Press
Format: Paper Book
Length: 419 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Adventure, Humor
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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, the princes 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.
Christopher Healy’s Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a completely original take on the world of fairy tales, the truth about what happens after “happily ever after.” It’s a must-have for middle grade readers who enjoy their fantasy adventures mixed with the humor of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Witty black-and-white drawings by Todd Harris add to the fun.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy is just the type of middle grade book I adore to pieces. It’s imaginative, original, and makes fun of every fairy tale cliché it can get its hands on. The humor is cheesy and ridiculous while the characters are bumbling but good-hearted. This was exactly the silly, funny book that I wanted to read and I think other readers will have just as much fun with it as I did.
What I Liked
The Hero’s Guide doesn’t take itself seriously and the cheesy humor and fairy tale mayhem are great. This fractured fairy tale book takes familiar characters, the Prince Charming stock character, and really turns them on their heads. There are jokes and jabs galore aimed at the bumbling princes. Their incompetence is endearing but they are individuals and each prince’s personality is unique.
I love fairy tale rewrites and The Hero’s Guide uses a lot of different fairy tales. There are a lot of in-jokes and references to other classics written into the story that the observant will catch too.
The illustrations by Todd Harris were an unexpected additional surprise that added that extra touch. It was nice to see such detailed pictures of our heroes. (Even if Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty, could be mistaken for Bell from Beauty and the Beast because of the yellow dress.) Snow White was especially amusing with all of her bows.
What I Didn’t Like
Let’s be honest, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is cute and funny but shouldn’t be taken seriously. Your brain can rest while reading this one and just have a good time with an adventure and some loveable characters. We get to see one author’s take on some important fairy tale characters and seeing the vastly different personalities of the princes is interesting. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy is a fat, squat brick of a book that I feel could have lost a little weight and been better for it but overall is a hilarious and fun fairy tale read. It breaths some new life into an old favorite.