Narrator: Bronson Pinchot
Published by Harper Audio on 01 May 2012
Length: 9 hours and 5 minutes
Source: Purchased through Audible
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.
I love the way The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom plays with fairy tale tropes and mixes things up in a fresh and charming (heh) way. Before I read this book, it seemed a little weird to write a kid’s book that follows four grown men chasing princesses. Even now it’s hard for me to explain why it works, but it does. While love and marriage are discussed and integral to the plot, the book is mostly about friendship and growing up. Even though the four heroes come from extremely different places (both geographically and emotionally) they find what they need in the group of Prince Charmings.
One of my favorite things about this book is that it not only played with fairytale tropes, but gender stereotypes. We have lots of women who save themselves and lots of men that need saving. But overall the message is not one of female empowerment over men, but one that tells us there are many kinds of strengths. You can be brave like Liam, smart like Frederic, loyal like Duncan, or strong like Gustav. I really loved this message since it’s one not often seen in fairy tales.
My only complaint is that the end kind of sets up this romance between Liam and Ella. Liam is the sweetest and I want him to be happy, but I just really want Ella and Frederic to work out even though they aren’t as naturally compatable. I mean, Frederic faced all his greatest fears because of how much he loved her. However, this isn’t much of a complaint and I’ve already purchased this book to give to my nephew for Christmas.
Favorite Moments: Any moment with Gustav, especially his BroTP with Frederic.
WTF Moments: Meeting Briar. Much like Prince Liam, I was taken by surprise.
Narrator: Bronson Pinchot is perfect as the narrator. He has a deep voice that sounds very heroic, but he is also able to infuse the tongue-in-cheek tone of the book throughout his performance. I will absolutely be listening to more books narrated by Pinchot.
Overall: Funny and full of adventure, The Hero’s Guide To Saving Your Kingdom also had its sweet moments and I look forward to the league’s next adventure.