Books Kids Fiction The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/cc/bc/4d/_12969560_1335398060.jpg
 
4.3 (2)
 
4.5 (2)
992   0
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 01, 2012
ISBN
978-0062117434
Buy This Book
      

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard 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 assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes—a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0  (2)

The first line of Christopher Healy’s “The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom” had me literally LOL-ing, and it just never stopped. Reading his book was such a pleasure that I had this huge grin plastered across my face the entire time. My only complaint is that my face is sore from smiling so hard for a couple hours straight, but that’s a pain I’m willing to put up with after such a funny read. I’ve got to tell you, the amount of strange looks I got from passersby as I read this at a local café, loudly laughing to myself, is catastrophic so be warned.

What is so funny about this book is the satirical take Healy has on the classic fairytales of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty. He elaborates in such a delightful way on the character of each of the fairytale princesses and each of their respective Prince Charmings, who happen to be the stars of the book. First and foremost, these four men want you to know that their names are not Prince Charming, they are in fact Frederic, Duncan, Gustav, and Liam. Due to the misreported facts of all their kingdoms’ bards, their names have been forgotten.

As Healy elaborates on the princes’ stories, he shows readers each prince’s distinct personality. Frederic is afraid of danger and would prefer to have a pampered life. Duncan is a little dimwitted but completely adores his wife, Snow White. Gustav is Viking-esque in nature and is trying his absolute darndest to live up to the legendary stature of his 16 older brothers. Liam is the most classic Prince Charming of them all, using up all of his time performing death-defying feats of courage and strength to rescue citizens in his and surrounding kingdoms.

What hit me most about this book was Healy’s delivery of the stresses of gender stereotypes. He describes how these stereotypes affect both men and women. For men, they have to live up to the Prince Charming ideal, being brave and muscular and cunning. This is a lot to live up to, and stresses out each of these fairytale princes in different ways. For the women, especially Cinderella and Rapunzel, they have to live up to the damsel-in-distress motif and let men do everything for them. They each cannot stand living up to these boring standards, and would prefer to go out and live their own courageous adventures.

In the end, the characters become happiest when they defy the stereotypes they feel imprisoned by, and so much of the comedy comes from the reactions of others who are chained to living in a very gender orderly world. I can’t wait for the next book, in which the characters are sure to become even more of their own men and women, despite how all the fairytales tell them to act.

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Jason Gallaher Reviewed by Jason Gallaher February 02, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (106)

Royally Funny

The first line of Christopher Healy’s “The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom” had me literally LOL-ing, and it just never stopped. Reading his book was such a pleasure that I had this huge grin plastered across my face the entire time. My only complaint is that my face is sore from smiling so hard for a couple hours straight, but that’s a pain I’m willing to put up with after such a funny read. I’ve got to tell you, the amount of strange looks I got from passersby as I read this at a local café, loudly laughing to myself, is catastrophic so be warned.

What is so funny about this book is the satirical take Healy has on the classic fairytales of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty. He elaborates in such a delightful way on the character of each of the fairytale princesses and each of their respective Prince Charmings, who happen to be the stars of the book. First and foremost, these four men want you to know that their names are not Prince Charming, they are in fact Frederic, Duncan, Gustav, and Liam. Due to the misreported facts of all their kingdoms’ bards, their names have been forgotten.

As Healy elaborates on the princes’ stories, he shows readers each prince’s distinct personality. Frederic is afraid of danger and would prefer to have a pampered life. Duncan is a little dimwitted but completely adores his wife, Snow White. Gustav is Viking-esque in nature and is trying his absolute darndest to live up to the legendary stature of his 16 older brothers. Liam is the most classic Prince Charming of them all, using up all of his time performing death-defying feats of courage and strength to rescue citizens in his and surrounding kingdoms.

What hit me most about this book was Healy’s delivery of the stresses of gender stereotypes. He describes how these stereotypes affect both men and women. For men, they have to live up to the Prince Charming ideal, being brave and muscular and cunning. This is a lot to live up to, and stresses out each of these fairytale princes in different ways. For the women, especially Cinderella and Rapunzel, they have to live up to the damsel-in-distress motif and let men do everything for them. They each cannot stand living up to these boring standards, and would prefer to go out and live their own courageous adventures.

In the end, the characters become happiest when they defy the stereotypes they feel imprisoned by, and so much of the comedy comes from the reactions of others who are chained to living in a very gender orderly world. I can’t wait for the next book, in which the characters are sure to become even more of their own men and women, despite how all the fairytales tell them to act.

Was this review helpful to you? 
The kingdom of Harmonia has Frederic, who was brought up to be fearful of everything, but a really snazzy dresser. He danced with Cinderella and she fell in love, but found life in the castle to be profoundly boring. Nearby, there's Gustav, who tried to rescue Rapunzel but is now the laughingstock of his kingdom. Liam woke Sleeping Beauty, but found that Briar Rose has a horrible personality and he really doesn't want to marry her. Duncan is married to Snow White, but they are both a little odd and having trouble adjusting to life together. What do all of these princes have in common? The Bards, who are lazy, refer to all of them as Prince Charming in their songs, which makes their lives more difficult. When Rapunzel's evil witch, Zaubera, kidnaps all of the bards, the princes band together to try to get them back. Ella may also be in danger, since the Bandit King and Ruffian the Blue are at large, but they do their best with their limited princely skills. With help from Liam's sister Lila, and various trolls and dragons, the princes manage to successfully complete their quest, figure out how they should polish their images in their kingdoms, and learn a lot about what it means to be Prince Charming.
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0

The League of Dejected Princes

The kingdom of Harmonia has Frederic, who was brought up to be fearful of everything, but a really snazzy dresser. He danced with Cinderella and she fell in love, but found life in the castle to be profoundly boring. Nearby, there's Gustav, who tried to rescue Rapunzel but is now the laughingstock of his kingdom. Liam woke Sleeping Beauty, but found that Briar Rose has a horrible personality and he really doesn't want to marry her. Duncan is married to Snow White, but they are both a little odd and having trouble adjusting to life together. What do all of these princes have in common? The Bards, who are lazy, refer to all of them as Prince Charming in their songs, which makes their lives more difficult. When Rapunzel's evil witch, Zaubera, kidnaps all of the bards, the princes band together to try to get them back. Ella may also be in danger, since the Bandit King and Ruffian the Blue are at large, but they do their best with their limited princely skills. With help from Liam's sister Lila, and various trolls and dragons, the princes manage to successfully complete their quest, figure out how they should polish their images in their kingdoms, and learn a lot about what it means to be Prince Charming.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
What’s it about?:
As opposed to the usual spin on fairytale retellings, this book picks up during the after in “Happily Ever After.” Princes Frederic, Gustav, Liam, and Duncan find that they have all become the collective Prince Charming in ballads. Meanwhile, their rescued princesses (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, respectively) all find themselves disappointed by their new royal beaux and the lives they are expected to lead. When the princesses decide to take control of their lives and make themselves happy, the princes set out to prove themselves worthy not only of the ladies’ affections, but of their own self-respect (and, along the way, recognition as individuals).

What is there to like?:
Funny and smartly told, the story’s underlying messages are about loyalty, friendship, and appreciating individual strengths—and, refreshingly, “walks the walk” with characters who can be sympathetic even when occasionally unlikeable. Does credit to young readers with villains who aren’t easily fooled (readers should especially like Deeb Rauber, The Bandit King). With strong role models for boys and girls, this book should appeal to both.

What’s not to like?:
?

What made me pick it up?:
This article from Publishers Weekly, in which the author is quoted: “…while [Healy] would often commiserate with other parents who were troubled by archetypical images of passive princesses, he was also perturbed by the vacuous nature of Prince Charming in fairy tales like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. ‘He’s so inconsequential,’ Healy says. ‘He’s presented as the ideal man, but he has no personality.’ If princesses are going to fall in love with princes, he continues, then ‘shouldn’t we care about who these men are?’”
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/profiles/article/52824-spring-2012-flying-starts-christopher-healy.html

Overall Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Amberle Sherman Reviewed by Amberle Sherman December 24, 2012
Last updated: December 25, 2012
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (3)

Four Princes Charming Walk into a Bar...

What’s it about?:
As opposed to the usual spin on fairytale retellings, this book picks up during the after in “Happily Ever After.” Princes Frederic, Gustav, Liam, and Duncan find that they have all become the collective Prince Charming in ballads. Meanwhile, their rescued princesses (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, respectively) all find themselves disappointed by their new royal beaux and the lives they are expected to lead. When the princesses decide to take control of their lives and make themselves happy, the princes set out to prove themselves worthy not only of the ladies’ affections, but of their own self-respect (and, along the way, recognition as individuals).

What is there to like?:
Funny and smartly told, the story’s underlying messages are about loyalty, friendship, and appreciating individual strengths—and, refreshingly, “walks the walk” with characters who can be sympathetic even when occasionally unlikeable. Does credit to young readers with villains who aren’t easily fooled (readers should especially like Deeb Rauber, The Bandit King). With strong role models for boys and girls, this book should appeal to both.

What’s not to like?:
?

What made me pick it up?:
This article from Publishers Weekly, in which the author is quoted: “…while [Healy] would often commiserate with other parents who were troubled by archetypical images of passive princesses, he was also perturbed by the vacuous nature of Prince Charming in fairy tales like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. ‘He’s so inconsequential,’ Healy says. ‘He’s presented as the ideal man, but he has no personality.’ If princesses are going to fall in love with princes, he continues, then ‘shouldn’t we care about who these men are?’”
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/profiles/article/52824-spring-2012-flying-starts-christopher-healy.html

Overall Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Was this review helpful to you? 
What I think about this book in one word: Hilarious. Two words: Absolutely brilliant. As a whole: one of THE best fractured fairytales ever. Seriously.
Let’s start with the plot. Bumbling heroes, an evil witch, a diplomatic giant, vegetarian trolls, and princesses that don’t need rescuing—a perfect combination for a fast-paced plot full of hijinks and adventure. I fell in love with this story on the first page. The opening line says, “Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn’t know that did you?” The light-hearted tone from the opening line runs throughout this book. I literally laughed out loud in places. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, you will love this book. I guarantee it. There are so many twists to the original tales that this book becomes its own version of a fairy-tale. How great is it to make Snow White slightly off her rocker and Cinderella like a ninja?

The characters are extremely enjoyable too. The Princes Charming (there was a grammar lesson attached to this name in the book) are pretty ticked off that they go nameless in all the tales. They want people to know who the “Prince Charming” in the story really is. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. But when Cinderella goes “missing,” a true hero senses the opportunity for a rescue. And so this team of misfit heroes is formed (in a rather entertaining way).

Gustav is one of my favorite characters in the book. Nicknamed “Angry Man” by a troll, he undergoes the greatest transformation throughout the story. Short tempered and often irrational, he is more of a liability than an asset. But he does learn a few lessons along the way. His slowly developing friendship with Frederick—the OCD Prince Charming belonging to Cinderella—is rather endearing. Of course, Frederick is hilarious in his own right. He’s the smooth talker in the group, which is a good thing because he can’t do anything else. Then there are the princes Liam and Duncan. Liam seems to have things together, except that he thinks he’s unstoppable. But Duncan is the life of the party. There is something “off” about Snow White’s beau. The man names animals that randomly appear in the forest! That’s not normal.

I would be wrong to discuss characters and not mention the leading ladies in this story. They were independent, strong-minded, and better heroes than the men. Not your stereotyped princesses by any means. Cinderella could be a super ninja. I enjoyed the side stories that told of her adventures sans the Princes Charming. When the stories finally merge, it forms a great team of heroes that I can’t wait to read more about. (And I do hope they will be recruiting more princesses into the team.)

I’m happy to say that this book is the beginning of a series. I am anticipating this book becoming a favorite. It should be read aloud so everyone can appreciate the witty humor and antics in the story. Otherwise, people nearby will wonder what’s wrong with you as you laugh out loud with every turn of the page.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Alanna Shaw Reviewed by Alanna Shaw May 07, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (235)

Fantastic fairy tale retelling

What I think about this book in one word: Hilarious. Two words: Absolutely brilliant. As a whole: one of THE best fractured fairytales ever. Seriously.
Let’s start with the plot. Bumbling heroes, an evil witch, a diplomatic giant, vegetarian trolls, and princesses that don’t need rescuing—a perfect combination for a fast-paced plot full of hijinks and adventure. I fell in love with this story on the first page. The opening line says, “Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn’t know that did you?” The light-hearted tone from the opening line runs throughout this book. I literally laughed out loud in places. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, you will love this book. I guarantee it. There are so many twists to the original tales that this book becomes its own version of a fairy-tale. How great is it to make Snow White slightly off her rocker and Cinderella like a ninja?

The characters are extremely enjoyable too. The Princes Charming (there was a grammar lesson attached to this name in the book) are pretty ticked off that they go nameless in all the tales. They want people to know who the “Prince Charming” in the story really is. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. But when Cinderella goes “missing,” a true hero senses the opportunity for a rescue. And so this team of misfit heroes is formed (in a rather entertaining way).

Gustav is one of my favorite characters in the book. Nicknamed “Angry Man” by a troll, he undergoes the greatest transformation throughout the story. Short tempered and often irrational, he is more of a liability than an asset. But he does learn a few lessons along the way. His slowly developing friendship with Frederick—the OCD Prince Charming belonging to Cinderella—is rather endearing. Of course, Frederick is hilarious in his own right. He’s the smooth talker in the group, which is a good thing because he can’t do anything else. Then there are the princes Liam and Duncan. Liam seems to have things together, except that he thinks he’s unstoppable. But Duncan is the life of the party. There is something “off” about Snow White’s beau. The man names animals that randomly appear in the forest! That’s not normal.

I would be wrong to discuss characters and not mention the leading ladies in this story. They were independent, strong-minded, and better heroes than the men. Not your stereotyped princesses by any means. Cinderella could be a super ninja. I enjoyed the side stories that told of her adventures sans the Princes Charming. When the stories finally merge, it forms a great team of heroes that I can’t wait to read more about. (And I do hope they will be recruiting more princesses into the team.)

I’m happy to say that this book is the beginning of a series. I am anticipating this book becoming a favorite. It should be read aloud so everyone can appreciate the witty humor and antics in the story. Otherwise, people nearby will wonder what’s wrong with you as you laugh out loud with every turn of the page.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Giveaway: The Ark by Laura Liddell (International)

    The Ark By Laura Liddell Nolen    Release Date: March 26, 2015   About the Book It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five ...

  • Giveaway: 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger (US & Canada Only)

    5 to1 By Holly Bodger Release Date: 5/12/15   About the Book Sudasa doesn't want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa's family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and p ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Tor Maddox: Unleashed by Liz Coley + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for TOR MADDOX: UNLEASHED by Liz Coley, releasing May 1, 2015 from LCTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Liz:   Hi YABC! I’m thrilled to int ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!   The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, ...

  • YABC Superstar of the Month: Ellie Gehman!

    YABC is a big site with a lot of moving pieces. We wouldn't exist without the tireless efforts of our incredible staff of volunteers. Our volunteers read and review books, post giveaways and cover reveals, format book graphics for our social media sites, and much more. YABC is a fabulous communit ...

  • MTV Movie Awards Recap

    Last night was a big night for YA book-to-movie adaptations at the MTV Movie Awards! Check out how many categories we won: MOVIE OF THE YEAR:    BEST KISS:   BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Dylan O'Brien The Maze Runner BEST FEMALE PERFORMAN ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen + Giveaway (US Only)

      Hello, YABC! We've got a special reveal for you today! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE by M.G. Buehrlen, releasing April 14, 2015 from Diversion Books. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from M.G.:   ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Starflight by Melissa Landers + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to the second cover reveal of the week! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers, releasing February 2, 2016 from Disney Hyperion. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Melissa:   Hey, YAB ...

  • Trailer Reveal: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby + Giveaway (US Only)

    Hello, YABCers! We're bringing you a different kind of reveal today! Today we're super excited to celebrate the trailer reveal for THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jessi Kirby, releasing April 21, 2015 from HarperTeen. Before we get to the trailer, here's a note from Jessi:   ...

  • Author Top 5 with Fonda Lee

    Today we welcome Fonda Lee to YABC! Fonda’s newly released book ZEROBOXER (Flux/Llewellyn) is high-action science fiction novel that releases this week. Since all authors want their books to find the right readers, Fonda has compiled this handy quiz to help you determine if you are the sort ...

  • Diversify Your Shelves With WNDB!

    Columnist: Maurene Goo   It’s very exciting to write the debut post for this new series of diversity recs for YABC! As a member of We Need Diverse Books and as a YA author who started this entire journey because I wanted to see books that reflected something close to my teen years in ...

  • Giveaway: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (US& CAN Only)

    Shadow Scale By Rachel Hartman Release Date: March 10, 2015   About the Book In her Morris Award-winning and New York Times bestselling debut, Rachel Hartman took our breath away with an utterly original alternative-medieval world full of dragons, Seraphina. This novel ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Angels of Moirai (Book One)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Since man first walked the earth, the Angels of Moirai have watched over them. Born human, they are taught never...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets,...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The-Girl-Who-Ignored-Ghosts.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nerdy Dozen 2.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
In this exciting sequel to The Nerdy Dozen, Neil Andertol and his gang of dorky gamers are once again called...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
les miserables.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Travel back to nineteenth-century France with ex-convict Jean Valjean as he tries to put his criminal past behind him and...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Wishing doesn't make it so, Azra does. Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started-under Dr. Jacobs's cruel control. Now she must...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons...
 
0.0
 
3.3 (1)
Acclaimed author Anne Blankman returns to the shadowy and dangerous world of 1930s Germany in this thrilling sequel to Prisoner...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Can one girl take on so many identities without losing her own? Find out in this riveting companion to The...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Three different teenage girls learn how to navigate their hearts and NYC. City Love is the start of a romantic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen. Molly...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Cassie and Caitlyn Waters may be identical twins, but everything else about them is completely different. The only thing they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
woven book.jpg
Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself. All his life, Nels has...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real? Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Allie Carmichael has always believed life is simple. You’re born. You live. You die. She has no cause to...
 
0.0
 
4.5 (2)
I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)