Like The Avengers, But With Swords and Things

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

First Look:

I couldn’t resist showing both sides, because this is wonderful!  I love everything about it, especially that all major characters are shown and each have the personality that is described in the text.

Jacket Copy:

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never head 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 associated terrors to become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.


Yep, the second volume in The League of Princes was out on April 30–I probably have to run out and buy it for my nephew (but I’ll read it first).

Worth Reading?

(Pic from Into the Woods, a more grown-up story in the same vein as this book.)

YES.  If you have any love for fairy tale retellings with humor and heart, you should read this book.  It’s middle-grade in reading level, but it’s also pretty much perfect for reading aloud to even younger kids.  Heck, I bought a copy for my 1-year-old nephew!

Notable Things:

Humorous fairy-tale retelling with a twist!  Roles are reversed, secret motivations are revealed, and it’s all done in a bright, easy-to-read, amusing manner.

Princes and Princesses (who don’t follow the normal roles)!  There are four princes and four princesses in the book, and only a few of them want to (or by the end of the book, do) follow traditional gendered roles from classic fairy tales.  Cinderella wants to explore and have adventures, whereas Snow White’s prince (Duncan) is a vague, dreamy sort of fellow who doesn’t care much for action.

Teamwork!  Their varied personalities and talents help them win the day.


Putting aside the fact that the name of one of the princes is Liam (my nephew’s name), I thought that this was perfect book to buy him, not only because it’s fun and teaches lessons without being preachy in any way, but because it is a fairy tale (which I believe express basic truths about human nature and life), but with a twist (making it still fun and interesting on later readings).


Bought as a gift.


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