Saturday, June 2, 2012
Book Review: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy by
Author: Christopher Healy
Illustrator: Todd Harris
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Genre: MG (Fantasy)
Why I read it/how I found it: 2012 Debut Author Challenge.
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never head 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 Guztav 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 associated terrors to becom the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
This book is hilarious. It's competing with The Princess Bride for the funniest book I've read, which, if you've read that, is really saying something. The characters are what really make the hilarity come off the page, with their extreme personalities making it comical. In addition to its humor, this book has a great plot to it, twisting what you expect to happen. I also really enjoy this twist in perspective and seeing the fairy tales through the Princes' point of view. Healy has a unique take on fairy tales that sets this book apart from other retellings. Also, while this book has a sequel and it's been set up in this book, the plot has concluded, so it can stand alone. Except for the love affair with dialogue tags (lots of characters gripe) it's also well-written.
Other information: Hero's Guide will have a sequel, due out next year. Fox Animation has bought the movie rights to this book (fingers crossed it gets made, it'd be hilarious). Christopher Healy's website is here. Todd Harris's blog is here.