Title: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Author: Christopher Healy
Series: League of Princes #1
Everyone knows about the princesses. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella. But what about the prince who broke the curse, slew the dragon, danced at the ball? Aren’t they all Prince Charming?
Such is the premise of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, which chooses to focus on those oft-neglected heros of legend: the prince. Of course, as the story is quick to point out, not all Prince Charmings are created equal. Some actually had to be heros for their princess, while others merely attended a dance. Kudos especially for remembering Rapunzel’s prince had his eyes scratched out by thorns.
Most of the book is character-driven humor as these four misfit princes scramble to deal with a wicked witch and some kidnapped bards. Liam, who was my favorite, is the closest to a real hero—even if it was built on false pretenses (his dismay at dealing with the other three makes me laugh). Duncan, the oddball, is probably second. He’s convinced he has magical good luck, and although the text goes out of its way to assure us this is NOT magic, he’s still uncannily good at working out the most bizarre situations. Then we have Gustav, big and brawny and with an inferiority complex because of his sixteen better-regarded brothers (explaining how they are all only a year or two older than him made me stop reading because I was laughing so hard I cried). And Frederic, the Cinderella prince, whose most dangerous encounter pre-story has been dust bunnies.
I also want to mention the illustrations. This book is peppered with fantastic little sketches that provide some visual humor to go along with the story.
Although some of the humor was hit-or-miss for me, the general quirkiness and upbeat plot made for a fun read. I look forward to the sequels. I rate this book Recommended.