Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healey

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom 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.

(Summary from GoodReads)

Although my humor can be quite sarcastic and dry, I actually love puns and cheesy jokes.  Incidentally, I also enjoy fairy tale re-tellings and fantasy novels, so when I got an e-mail to review The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, I jumped at the chance.  Healy’s novel had me chuckling in a few places, but it wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be. 

This re-telling tackles four major fairy tales: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White.  I know and like all of these stories, and Healey gives each prince a name and distinct personality.  Maybe I am alone in this one, but it took me about 75 pages before I could remember which prince went with which story.  Once I had it straight, I loved watching the dynamics between the princes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the story itself.  I thought it got a little convoluted at times.  There were also times when the book felt slow or oddly paced. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a book ten-year-old Liz would have adored.  Twenty-four-year-old Liz liked it, but was unsure of a few things.  That said, I’m looking forward to passing Healy’s novel on to some younger readers I know.

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. I'm in the middle of listening to this via audio. Maybe it works better that way. I think it's quite cute, but it does drag a bit.

  2. I'm still really in touch with my inner child, so I LOVED The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom, but I can see where a more mature person might not be head over heels with it.

    I am glad you enjoyed it for the most part though. :-)

    Have you read A Tale Dark And Grimm by Adam Gidwitz? You might like that.

    1. Ha! I hardly think I'm mature, although I do appreciate that. I just think it could have been a faster, shorter story, although that has more to do with personal taste than literary quality.

      A TALE DARK AND GRIMM is on my TBR pile. I'm not quite sure when I'll get to it, though.

  3. I really want to get my hands on this one.

  4. I also had a lot of trouble remembering the princes as well so you're not alone. I think my main dissatisfaction is that I really do prefer to read about the princesses so while it's a cool idea to focus on the guys, it's not my preference.



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