Monday, February 11, 2013

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy asks the question, what happened after the fairy tale? Was it really "Happily Ever After" for Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and all of those Princes Charming?

The answer, of course, is "not really." Prince Frederick finds that he's not daring enough for Cinderella, who longs for a life of adventure after her years of drudgery -- Frederick's idea of an adventure involves a picnic basket and cushions. Prince Gustav is humiliated by the fact that Rapunzel saved him when he had been thrown out of the tower and blinded, something his brothers will never let him forget. Prince Liam discovers that Sleeping Beauty is actually quite a brat when she's awake, and that his parents still expect him to marry her because her kingdom is a wealthy one. And while Prince Duncan and Snow White are already happily married, he's sometimes a little too quirky even for her. Over the course of the story, these four princes band together and face down a giant, a dragon, some trolls, a bandit king, and a wicked witch -- learning along the way how to value each other's unique abilities in order to work together.

This is another fun fantasy read, with a lot of slapstick humor and unexpected adventures for the princes -- and, in some cases, their princesses. As an adult reader, I thought the writing had some rough patches, and the whole shebang could have used a little more editing, but I think that young readers who enjoy lighthearted fantasy and aren't put off by thick tomes (this one weighs in at over 400 pages) will absolutely eat it up.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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