Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

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.

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Unique, funny, and fresh are all appropriate words to describe Christopher Healy’s The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. I seriously could not get enough of this fast-paced Middle Grade title!


Lots of little girls wish they could be princesses and plenty of girls and women wish for their Prince Charming to come riding to their rescue, shiny and dashing and heroic, but princesses and the perfect Prince Charming is no where to be found within these pages. Instead, the princesses are either spoiled or more heroic than the princes that are supposed to sweep them off their feet. Prince Charming is a generic name used to describe every prince in every tale… princes that are sometimes dashing and sometime heroic, but often flawed and more often terribly silly. In an endearing way of course.


I can’t fully describe how much I adore this novel. The characters are vivid and each have a distinct voice. I’d much rather be a princess like the sort in The Hero’s Guide… one who is happy to have a prince by her side, but is more than capable of taking matters into her own hands. 


The princes are a motley crew and never fail to entertain. I loved that each had a specific strength or skill so that when the four came together, usually in rather comedic circumstances, they achieved their goal. I have to say, Prince Duncan was my favorite of the princes, the Prince Charming of Snow White’s tale.  Duncan refers to every animal he comes across by name… names he makes up on the spot. His oddities and personality never failed to make me laugh.


I highly recommend The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Yes, it’s a MG title, but I can imagine readers of all age enjoying the characters and their quirks. And I hear the characters will be reunited in a second installment and they’ll be joined by a few more interesting individuals… I, for one, can’t wait!

Walden Pond Press, May 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780062117434, 419 pages.
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3 thoughts on “Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

  1. I loved The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, too! Duncan is certainly amazing, definitely one of my favorite characters. But I really love Gustav as well. And the Bandit King. I can't think of anything I disliked about this book. It's been very popular at the library where I work.

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