Rummanah Aasi
  After reading fabulous reviews of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom from some of my favorite bloggers, I thought I would give the book a chance. After a few lackluster reads, I needed a book that I couldn't put down and The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom fit the bill.

Description (from the publisher): 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.

Review: Those of us familiar with fairy tales expect a happy ending, but as the four Princes Charming found out to to their dismay that doesn't always happen. The bards have the story details wrong and the princes aren't really the studly heroes we know. In fact each Prince Charming has a name, comes from a kingdom, and may not really be the heroes of their story. While they may have the gotten the girl at the end of the story, they are not very happy. Bold, party-crashing Cinderella wants adventure more than the sheltered and risk averse Prince Frederic. Prince Gustav's pride is still badly damaged from having needed Rapunzel's teary-eyed rescue. Through Sleeping Beauty, Prince Liam learns kissing someone out of enchanted sleep doesn't guarantee compatibility, much to the citizens of both kingdoms' ire. Although she loves wacky and loquacious Prince Duncan, Snow White needs some solitude and quiet.
  In order to build their self esteem, wipe away the tarnish of their names, and restart on a clean slate, the four princes unite to face ridiculous, dangerous obstacles and fight a common foe: Zaubera, the witch from Rapunzel's story who believes she hasn't received the notoriety that she deserves. Angered at remaining nameless in the bard's story, she plots to become infamous enough through ever-escalating evil that bards will be forced to name her in their stories.
 I absolutely loved this book right from the start. Healy has created his own story out of the well known fairy-tales. The book is filled with wit without trying too hard and relying on pop-culture references, cliches. In his story, the princesses can handle themselves and as Sleeping Beauty shows are not all nice and prim. I just wished the princesses had a bit more page time. The focus of the story, however, is on the four princes who have to work together despite their differences. Though they are oblivious goofballs, Healy also shows that they have good hearts and individual strengths, keeping them distinct and believable. This book looks big with its tome like appearance but it reads quickly and the black and white illustrations complement the story really well. Inventive and hilarious, this book should come with a warning to not read in public if you don't what to get weird stares every time you irrupt in giggles. I highly recommend this book if you are fans of the animated movies Shrek and Tangled, if you enjoy reading about fairy tales, or if you are looking for a fun read. I can't wait to read more in this series!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3 and up.

If you like this book try: The Hero's Guide to Storming Your Castle by Christopher Healy, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, The Fairy-tale Detectives by Michael Buckley, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale,
7 Responses
  1. Candace Says:

    So glad you enjoyed this too! I just got the third book for review and am excited to find out what happens in the conclusion!

  2. Oh I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much. And at least I would have a reason to suddenly erupt in giggles. ;) I love books that do that to you. :)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I adored this book, and your'e so right, it reminded me of Shrek and Tangled. I listened to it on audio, and the narrator was hilarious! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this, and glad you had this as a follow up to those lackluster reads. Great review!

  4. Aylee Says:

    Aaah, how FUN does this sound?? I do quite like Shrek and I love the idea of turning well known fairy tales on their heads and playing around with them. Now that's something I could never get tired of. And I think you have convinced me that this would be the perfect read to try out when I need a picker-upper and need to be charmed!!

  5. Jen Twimom Says:

    I picked up both of the books in the series for my 10 YO boy - wasn't sure how he'd like them, but he absolutely loved them. Maybe I'll take a look too! Thanks for the review!

  6. I didn't like this one as much as you and some other bloggers, but I did think it was an entertaining read. I liked the focus on the princes and finding out what happens after happily ever after.

  7. Small Review Says:

    I'm so glad you liked this! This series is one of my favorite takes on fractured fairy tales. If you ever get a chance to listen to the audio version I highly, highly recommend it. I don't love audio books, but in this case I like it almost more than reading the book.

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