The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom rocked middle-grade literature last year as it dared to go where no other book had dared to go--into the worlds of the men behind some popular fairy tales. We're all familiar with the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty, but author Christopher Healy decided to introduce us to Prince Liam, Prince Frederic, Prince Duncan and Prince Gustav--the princes behind these fairy tales.
This year, Healy has taken it another step further with the sequel, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle. Our Princes Charming do not disappoint and they have to save the day again. Liam is forced to marry Briar Rose, who is only interested in Liam's treasures. However, when Briar Rose discovers that a popular sword is missing, she forces Liam and the princes to find it. Only problem is, it was stolen by the Bandit King and is in the witches' old castle, which nobody dares step foot in.
You can expect the same things you'd find in any fantasy tale. Yes, there are castles, fairy princesses, dragons, giants and trolls. And yes, there's adventure. But you'll also find a large amount of humor, and a look into the princes who are often overlooked. The princes' characters really come out in this book. They're cartoony, silly and all out zany, but that's what moves this story along nicely. And just when you thought there would be no more stories to tell about the princes, you'll find yourself looking forward to the third installment.
Reading level: ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press (April 30, 2013)