Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
By Christopher Healy
Published: May 1, 2012

My review:

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom tells the real story behind the fairy tales we thought we knew. It turns out that Prince Charming is a collective name used by the bards who told the tale of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. The real princes are Prince Frederic, Prince Gustav, Prince Liam, and Prince Duncan respectively. Prince Frederic is frightened of his own shadow which isn't a surprise considering how he was raised by his overprotective father. His fiancee Princess Ella (a.k.a. Cinderella) gets bored with his unadventurous life and decides to go seek adventures on her own. Prince Gustav is the youngest of a family with 17 princes. He has always felt the need to prove himself and is likely to act without thinking. He is known for being rescued by Rapunzel. Prince Liam has a hero complex, always rushing off to save others. Unfortunately he also has a hero sized ego but it doesn't match that of his spoiled would-be bride Princess Briar Rose. Prince Duncan is just plain weird but his wife Snow White doesn't mind. This story is what happens when these four princes decide to make names for themselves by becoming "real heroes" and saving their kingdoms from the evil witch Zaubera...

This is a funny twist on fairy tales and I think it would appeal to both boys and girls. I love that it has imperfect characters that have a chance to grow. Neither the princes nor the princesses fall in line with typical fairy tale tropes and the ending wasn't quite what I was expecting either. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom does have some flaws. The characters can be annoying (especially Duncan), the book is fairly long for a MG book (over 400 pages) and some of the situations are repetitive but I still thought it was an enjoyable book. I hope there will be a sequel and with the movie rights purchased by FOX Animation, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned into a series. I think that preteen readers who aren't intimidated by the length of the book and who appreciate fractured fairy tales or movies like Shrek, Tangled, or How to Train Your Dragon would be more likely to enjoy this book.


  1. Cool-I didn't realize that the movie rights had been purchased. I would definitely be interested to see what is created.

  2. Oh this sounds like fun! Although the length is a bit much for an MG (400 pages? WOW) book.

    Nice review!


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