Monday, October 8, 2012

ARC Review: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, May 1, 2012. 419 pages. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source: gift.
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.
First Sentence:
Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies.
Now this is the fairy tale re-telling I've been waiting for. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom was an absolute treat to read.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom has become one of my favorite fairy tale re-telling's. I loved the new angle that Christopher Healy brought to the book world by making a story about the princes from some of the most well known fairy tales, and that they now have names-which always bothered me when watching/reading the original stories. This is definitely one book that most be read for many reasons.

Christopher Healy's writing was one of the highlights of reading this book. I just could not get enough of the trouble he created for the princes and that he was able to weave in some hilarious dialogue. I don't generally like book with dialogue that tries to be funny, but The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom was totally a good way.
The Princes Frederick and Duncan, were the ones that constantly had me giggling because one or the other of them would do something that would cause trouble for the whole entire group thus reducing me to a state of giggles. *charming, I know*

One of the best things about the book were the female characters who managed to steal the show, again. I really liked what Mr Healy did with Ella (Cinderella), Snow White, and even Sleeping Beauty. I like that he gave them such a fresh spin on their personalities and that they were nothing like I expected them to be. I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed reading the scene with Ella because I am not a fan of Cinderella, especially the movie version. I liked that he gave her an adventurous spirit, and that she was just cool.

The last thing I would like to say about the story: the villain. I found it interesting to see the motive behind  Zaubera's villainy, as well, as that she and the princes had a shared dislike for the way they were treated or should I say ignored by the bards. Plus, you've got to like a villain that thinks big when it comes to destroying their nemesis.

Oh gosh, were do I start when it comes to describing the princes in the book...
Prince Frederick, I thought it was interesting to start off with him and the fact that he was by far the most delicate of the princes. I was definitely intrigued by Frederick because he was the most unaccustomed to adventure and daring acts of bravery/stupidity, but it was perhaps his transformation that was the most drastic in the book. I really enjoyed how he went from being afraid of disobeying his parents and fearing his shadow to stepping out in the wide world to chase after the girl.
    Prince Gustav, may be my favorite of the lot. There are just so many reason to like Gustav, and one of them is that he does not think twice about jumping into the middle of a fight even if there really is nothing to get involved in. I liked that no matter how much he may complain about being stuck with Frederick and the others that he always was there when needed.
    Prince Liam, ah, the 'golden boy' of the princes. While at first he seems like the ideal prince brave, adventurous, and all that jazz he was obsessed with the way others viewed him. While he was a great character, I liked him more when he lost the limelight and hooked up with the other PC's to rescue Ella. What I liked about him would be that the trials and tribulations he went trough in the book actually made a difference in his personality.
    Prince Duncan, ooh, I liked him and how he believed that anything was possible because he had all the luck in the world. While he may not have been the most serious of the princes, I liked him because he always believed that things would go his way and that everything would work out in the end. I find it incredibly hard not to like such a positive character, plus he was always getting the guys into crazy situations.

What did I love most about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, well, that would have to be the 'Princes Charming'. They absolutely cracked me up through out the entire book, and I loved the way Mr Healy made each of them so different-from their mannerisms to their views on adventure. This book was just full of win.

The only thing that was disappointing about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom would have to be that my copy was an ARC, and thus did not have the map of the kingdom or all of the artwork. I absolutely adore books with maps in them and to be denied the opportunity to gaze at one saddened me. It's all good though because I have a copy in route to me.

Final Verdict: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is pure genius! I loved every moment of this book and demand more 'Princes Charming'.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.


  1. YES! I loved this book and I'm so happy you did too. More people need to read this book because it really is one of the best re-tellings. Great review!

    Also, did you know there is going to be a sequel?

    1. Thanks, Katie! Yes, and I cannot wait for book two in the series. *needs*


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