Time for another guest post from my book-loving mom!
My light and easy reading summer continues with an advanced review copy of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, the first in a series of fairy tales with a twist. These two hero’s guides take the traditional Disney version of four of our most beloved princes (and princesses) stories beyond the happily ever after to a series of new adventures that will keep tweens of both genders turning the pages and looking for more in the League of Princes series.
Note: I received The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom from a friend. I read the ARC so some things might have changed in the final version.
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy (The League of Princes #1)
Published by Walden Pond Press on May 1st, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 419 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty. Chances are you know who they are, but do you know the names of the princes who rescued them? Almost no one does. The bards immortalize them only as “Prince Charming,” much to their ongoing disappointment. Their disappointment deepens as each learns that life “happily ever after” with their princess is more complicated than they first realized. One by one, they end up rejected by their princesses and on the road where they band together to foil an evil plot that threatened all of their ungrateful kingdoms. Being the unsung heros that they are, they band together to fight dragons, trolls, pirate kings, and an evil witch who wants to make a name for herself.
- Christopher Healy has a deft hand when it comes to writing the comical tale of the four Prince Charmings. It is always interesting to see what misadventure one of the league will get into next … or what hidden talents will carry the day. It is at just the right level of eye-rolling fun-poking that should appeal to the target audience.
- The four princes (who are joined by their princesses), have a range of talents and personalities. Some of them are big, brave, and strong. And some would rather write sonnets. That goes for the girls as well as the boys. In the end, everyone’s individual strengths and skills are required to save the day – and some of the plot twists definitely rework the Disney stereotypes into a more egalitarian pattern.
- While it was a fun, light read for an adult, I think the main appeal will definitely be for the younger crowd. Like Sesame Street, parents or older siblings will enjoy reading this book to or with a young person in their life. The characters are not stereotypical, but they also do not have a great deal of depth. And the plot is slap-stick funny, but fairly obvious once you get a sense of its direction.
I think this book is well written and crafted to appeal to tweens – both boys and girls – who love adventure stories and fairy tales. They might have to get used to seeing their favorite fairy tale characters take on a very different life than modern movies and TV shows would suggest for them, but this is a rollicking good story that will keep them engaged and wanting more.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
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