Thursday, May 29, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle (League of Princes, 2) by Christopher Healy, April 30, 2013. 477 pages. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source: publisher
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.
First Sentence:
A true hero plays the flute.

While it has taken me a little over a year to finally get around to reading the second installment of Christopher Healy's the League of Princes, I must say that I enjoyed it quite as much as the first. But what really caught my eye this time around, other than the writing and the princes themselves, would have to be Briar Rose's story. I really thought he took her character on an interesting journey this time around and am definitely curious to see where her story leads next...if she should make another appearances that is.

 While I am disappointed, in myself, for waiting so long to read The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, which I devoured in just a matter of hours, I am glad I waited because now I shall be able to read book three with no wait, as I have it on my TBR.
     In comparison to the first one, I must say that I enjoyed this one even more because the characters seemed to have really hit their stride in their respective stories. I loved seeing all these different side to their personalities and how their stories had more depth then the previous one; that's not to say that I didn't enjoy them in book one, I just felt like they had more to give in this one.

Again, Christopher Healy has delighted me with his ability to give new life and direction to some of the princes from well known fairy tales. I've really enjoyed seeing him take these pretty lifeless characters, you know it's true if you've read some of the original stories, and given them a new chance with their side of the story. While I've enjoyed seeing the new direction he gave each of the princes, what really makes his (re)writing of their stories so interesting is seeing them grow throughout the series and face their failures and shortcomings.
      I really believe that his writing will appeal to both girls and boys in this series because who doesn't love a good adventure and excellent storytelling.

In the end, what really made me enjoy this book, other than Christopher Healy's excellent writing and storytelling, would have to be Briar Rose. In all honesty, she stole the show and I was intrigued to see behind her motivations for the things she did and how much she changed from the first book to now. Seriously though, while she is scheming and shallow and maybe a little evil, I enjoyed seeing her mask of indifference crack somewhat throughout the book and how she longed to be accepted into the group.
    In short, it was an interesting take for her and left me quite curious to see what would happen with her character in the next installment because I feel there is so much more to her story then what we were shown in Storming the Castle, and, I am kind of longing to see if she'll make a return and how she'll act if she does.

For me, the only drawback to this series is that I'm left wishing that Disney, or even the Grimm versions, had made the princes half as interesting and lively as they are in Christopher Healy's books. Thus far, I've really enjoyed seeing the new direction that he has taken each of the various fairy tales and how the characters are more dimensional then what you find in most of the original versions. Plus, I've really enjoyed seeing how the characters have evolved from book to book, so, a pretty win-win situation if you ask me.

Final Verdict: The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle- Witty and fun! Definitely a must read for those who love seeing fairy tales and their characters turned on their head.

Want to know my thoughts on the first League of Princes book, well, then you are in luck.
My review of: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle earns

 This book was received in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully you are going to host the middle grade challenge next year as well. This year I;'m not participating in any challenges, but this one is the ONE I want to join in 2015. :) Love middle grade books.


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