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The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

4.6 69
by Christopher Healy, Tod Harris (Illustrator)

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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


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.

Christopher Healy’s Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a completely original take on the world of fairy tales, the truth about what happens after “happily ever after.” It’s a must-have for middle grade readers who enjoy their fantasy adventures mixed with the humor of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Witty black-and-white drawings by Todd Harris add to the fun.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Caitlin Marineau
Fairy tales take a zany twist in first-time novelist Christopher Healy's new book. The stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel are well-known, but, unfortunately for the princes' involved, no one even knows their names. The so-called "Princes Charming" (not Prince Charmings, because Charming is the adjective, of course), have found themselves taking a back seat in what was supposed to be their grand tale of heroics. Even after they get the girls, the princes soon lose them: Rapunzel decides healing is more enjoyable than living with the brutish and incompetent Prince Gustav, Cinderella needs more adventure in her life than the sheltered Frederic can offer, Prince Liam breaks it off with Briar Rose after she turns out to be plain unpleasant, and even Snow White and Duncan, two somewhat addled free spirits have their own marital difficulties. The princes end up on a quest to prove themselves—to themselves, their girlfriends, and their kingdom. Healy's novel is a rousing comic adventure, filled with an assortment of distinctive and original characters that will engage and delight young readers. Charmingly humorous illustrations peppered throughout the book add to the novel's sense of fun. Reviewer: Caitlin Marineau
Kirkus Reviews
Instead of finding Happily Ever After with their princesses, four Princes Charming (Prince Duncan insists they pluralize the noun, not adjective) must team up on a farcical quest to save their kingdoms. The bards have the story details wrong, and each Prince Charming that rescues a princess actually has a name. Bold, party-crashing Cinderella wants adventure more than sheltered Prince Frederic does. 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 Prince Duncan, Snow White needs some solitude. The princes-in-turmoil unite to face ridiculous, dangerous obstacles and another figure underserved by bards' storytelling: Zaubera, the witch from Rapunzel's story. Angered at remaining nameless, she plots to become infamous enough through ever-escalating evil that bards will be forced to name her in their stories. The fairy-tale world is tongue-in-cheek but fleshed out, creating its own humor rather than relying on pop-culture references. In this debut, Healy juggles with pitch-perfect accuracy, rendering the princes as goobers with good hearts and individual strengths, keeping them distinct and believable. Inventive and hilarious, with laugh-out-loud moments on every page. (Fantasy. 8 & up)
Frank Cottrell Boyce
“This is the most fun you can have short of rounding up King Arthur’s knights, filling their armor with laughing gas, and driving them to a roller disco.”
Los Angeles Times
“One of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales… The princes in “The Hero’s Guide” may not be charming, but Healy’s romp of a book about them most certainly is.”
New York Times Book Review
“The premise is indeed charming…a quest that recalls at moments the Musketeers and at others, the Marxes.”
Wall Street Journal
“[A] lively, humorous adventure.”
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—The premise in this debut novel is that the princes in the "Cinderella," "Snow White," "Rapunzel," and "Sleeping Beauty" stories resent their relative anonymity (they're all just known as "Prince Charming") and want some recognition. Then, too, that "happily ever after" thing isn't working for any of them, so the princes and their princesses set off to rectify matters. The eight of them team up in assorted permutations throughout the ensuing slapstick proceedings. Unfortunately, it all becomes tiresomely repetitive. Though it might be funny once for people to fall over and knock into other people who fall over… and over and over like dominoes, it stops being amusing pretty quickly. It's understandable that Healy's characters are broadly drawn. They are, after all, fairy-tale personae. But more than 400 pages of the obsessive-compulsive prince, the ridiculously macho prince, the overachieving prince, and the extremely stupid prince and their equally one-dimensional princesses are a lot to plow through, especially when things are left so unresolved that readers suspect a sequel is in the offing.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.40(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are Saying About This

Frank Cottrell Boyce

“This is the most fun you can have short of rounding up King Arthur’s knights, filling their armor with laughing gas, and driving them to a roller disco.”

Meet the Author

Christopher Healy is the author of the acclaimed The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom—which won a place on several best of the year lists, including those of the New York Times, Amazon, and Kirkus Reviews—and its two sequels, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw. The series is currently in film development with Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. He lives with his wife and children in New Jersey.

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The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
lexaCV More than 1 year ago
I first bought this book on the nook for my little cousin to read, but one day I had nothing to do and started reading it for myself. It was very enjoyable. The characters are hilarious and the adventure is fantastic. I loved how they made Sleeping Beauty a total diva, made my day. Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White were all changed somewhat but kept true to their stories. More than anything I really enjoyed the dynamic between the princes. Liam is a hero with an ego. Gustav is a warrior that tries too hard. Duncan is incredibly different and fun. Frederic is charming out of his comfort zone all the time. The great thing about the four princes is that they have a good heart deep down and it shows in the story. This story is a great take on the princes' view of the fairytales and a fantastic spin on the characters of the princesses. All in all, this was a very fun read for everyone in the family.
ironmaiden55 More than 1 year ago
The book is hilarious. It's a really great read for children and adults. Definitely recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever:D! And that's alot from me considering that I'm not the kind of person who likes to read real books or even long books. But this book was filled with live action and drama considering that sleepling beauty is a brat and a real diva. I recommend this book to all ages(6-...).
PirateMaiden More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! It is action packed good clean fun for all ages! The characters are memorable and exciting and the puns throughout the book will just make you laugh out loud. There is also fantastic art work that you look forward to turning the page to see. I give you a Thumbs up Healy and Harris with Healy's imagination and Harri's wonderful drawings this is just a great read! Can not wait for storming the castle!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much and suggest it to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is great loved it MUST HAVE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have only barely gotten through the first chapter and this book is pretty good! The only thing I would have made different is have a little bit more discription of what happened to Prince Fredrick in his childhood and find out who Ella's relatives are or at least how many there are. Overall, I would say that The Heroes' Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a very good book for someone who likes fictional adventure to read for intrest in stories. Once again, AWESOME book!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so good I recomended it to the entire school!!!! (I was a journalist for the school news paper. If you love parodies or twists on classic stories then this is the book for you. Prince Charming, Prince Caheming, Prince Charming and Prince Charming journy, unwillingly, together to try to get their princesses back. By the way, the princes names are not Charming. Charming is a adjective, not a name. Those pesky bards were just to lazy to learn their names.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book its full of imagination and fantasy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was absolutely wonderful! The hodge podge of all the characters was HILARIOUS!! All the characters were absolutely awesome, I have never read a book.with characters like them! The author of this book is a genius! I heartily enjoyed every single part and I cannot wait to read the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in 4 grade and now i am in 6 th grade and this book is still one of my favorites today. This book has sooo much humor i couldent stop laughing at times. If liked this book you will love the second book. It is not as good as the this one but still really good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I sat and read for like 4 hours straight! It is a very good book because it inqurperates fairytales all in to one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my 9 year old to read because it looked interesting and I thought it might keep her attention. I started reading it to her at night for bed, then wasn't able to put it down. It is hilarious and a completely different take on the fairy tale stories. This will definantly be a book we will both read again, and have already started on book two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So very exciting Book reveiw at my school also popular and awesome 4 princes join forces to try and defeat an evil witch who captured a bunch of ppl and r going to kill them #:3
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Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Prince Charming Finds a New Adventure   Meet the four Princes Charming.  There’s Frederic, who is in danger of losing the heart of Ella because she longs for adventure, and his idea of being daring is having breakfast at their lunch picnic.  Gustav, at 6 ft. 8 the runt of his family, is tired of being in the shadow of his older brothers, and his “rescue” of Rapunzel hasn’t helped his reputation.  Prince Liam is a true hero engaged to Briar Rose, however he discovers that his fiancée is not a nice woman.  Finally, there’s Duncan, married to Snow White, and driving her crazy with his strange ways.   All four of them have been immortalized by bards, but all four have just been called Prince Charming, something they hate.  When fate brings them together in a quest to find and free Ella from an evil witch, will they be able to work together?  Do they even have strengths?  Or will their obvious weaknesses tear them down?   I first heard of and bought this book last year, but I stupidly let the book sit on my too be read pile until this last week.  Once I started reading it, I could hardly bear to put it down.  This is a very different take on fairy tales and Prince Charming, but it is delightful.  The story is filled with wacky humor as well as daring adventure and twists.  The pages flew by, and I fell in love with these characters and how they are portrayed.  While this is the story of the Princes, the ladies certainly get their chances to shine as well, so there is something for everyone.   Do not make my mistake.  Buy this book today and read it as soon as it arrives.  Then, like me, you’ll be looking forward to finding out what happens in the next two books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
book4children More than 1 year ago
This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Kids (and adults) love humor, and this book is jam packed with it. In each of the most popular fairy tales, the princess plays the starring role while Prince Charming remains nameless and faceless. Ditched by their princesses, the four Princes Charming head off on an adventure of their own. They bumble their way through sticky situations, battle Bandit Kings, and fight off giants, a dragon, and a fame-thirsty witch. I laughed so hard I was wheezing while I read. It wasn't a pretty sight, but it sure was fun. I loved each of the princes and each of their personalities. My favorites were Duncan and Liam. Duncan's magical luck—that wasn't really magical, but kept happening anyway—cracked me up. This is a great book for kids of all ages. It would be a really fun book to read together as a family. Highly recommended for anyone that loves to laugh. Content: Clean
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The "heroes" will have you rooting for them while laughing at them. The story is face paced, the creatures are fun twists on fairy tale classics. The action is vivid with wonderful illustrations that help to paint the scenes in your child's mind. We all enjoyed this book so much that the parent who didn't read the previous chapter went back to catch up on their own! We quickly ordered "The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle" and are reading "Being an Outlaw" installment right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago