I firmly believe you are never too old for fairy tales, and The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy is the perfect book to support my argument. Though written for middle grade readers, this book’s content is so hilarious, so universal, and so appealing that it transcends any age group. Healy’s laugh-out-loud look at the wayward lives of four Princes Charming is a book that can be read, shared, and enjoyed by pretty much anybody!
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 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 associated terrors to become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
It’s rare that a book is so funny that I find myself literally laughing out loud, but that was exactly the case with Hero’s Guide. I couldn’t help myself. I’d be quietly reading along, and then I’d start chuckling and giggling and laughing so much, my boyfriend kept asking if I was okay. (And then he decided my book was so funny, that he simply had to read it, too. Isn’t that magical when that happens?)
Healy has masterfully woven a tale that both pays tribute to the traditional fairy tales of our youth (and the traditional way in which fairy tales were first told, way way back in the once upon a time days) — while presenting a story for modern readers. There are no damsels in distress, and the stereotype of the knight in shining armor is shattered entirely. Healy writes about four princes who are far more original and interesting to read about than the generic “Prince Charming” label they lament so much!
Not only are Healy’s characters fresh, exciting, and fun to read about, but his manner of writing is so appealing. He has a gift for turning a phrase that is so fitting for this twisted take on classic fairy tale characters. His words invite you into the story and keep you turning the pages, eager to find out what happens next. It is, if you’ll forgive me for saying so, enchanting.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom will forever change the way you look at fairy tales, but only in the best of ways. It’s a new classic written for today’s readers.
Look for The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom in stores May 1st.