The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom--Christopher Healy
May 2012 by Walden Pond Press
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, the princes 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.
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is just a fun book. It's a bit cheesy, but it's funny and cute. It's a zany sort of slapstick adventure with some word play thrown in. Saving Your Kingdom is long for a middle grade novel, but it clips along at a quick pace. The characters are just great. They're a bit one dimensional, but there's enough characters that you get a lot of variety. Ella the adventurous, Frederick the timid, Lila the awesome. Troll is a lot of fun, and I love Gustav's direct bullheadedness.
I don't have much else to say, so I'll just finish with some of my favorite quotes.
"Neville and Horace stopped and eyed them smugly through the bars. Eyeing smugly was something the pair excelled in. They'd actually shared the title of Best Smug Eyers in their graduating class at bandit school."
"The rooftop level of the Bandit King's castle had been constructed as a convenient spot from which the robbers could spill boiling oil down onto anyone who tried to break into their headquarters, but it also served as a nice place to have duels, and occasionally, to sunbathe."
"This was not Liam's finest hour. The frustrations of the past several days had been slowly eating away at him and muddying his mind. On a normal day, had Liam been confronted by a fire-breathing dragon, he would have come up with a brilliant tactic for defeating the beast. He would have lured the dragon into a tight spot to trap it, or maybe found some clever way to make the huge chandelier overhead fall down onto the monster. But this day? This day he decided to kick the beast in the tail and yell, 'Take that, dumb dragon!'
"The dragon, as you might suspect, was not impressed."
"On still another road, a green-haired man wobbled by on peppermint-stick stilts, a fiery-plumed bird of paradise perched on his shoulder. But he's not in this story, so don't pay any attention to him."