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The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Written by Christopher Healy

Narrated by Bronson Pinchot


The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Written by Christopher Healy

Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

ratings:
4.5/5 (42 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 1, 2012
ISBN:
9780062222275
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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, 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 assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes-a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

Publisher:
Released:
May 1, 2012
ISBN:
9780062222275
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, as well as its two sequels, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at www.christopherhealy.com.


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What people think about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

4.3
42 ratings / 35 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    I just couldn't finish . . . .

    First, I didn't like how nearly all of the princes were made into namby-pamby goofs, and the princesses were strong, capable, and able to save themselves. My sister (who finished it) tells me it got better in the end, but nonetheless, it was the theme throughout the first 34s and I did not like it. It felt very feministic to me.

    Also, the crudityviolencewitch-stuff made me cringe a few times, and this is NOT something I would give to my middle-grade aged brothers! I am becoming increasingly disappointing with the kind of content you can put into a middle grade novel. :

    While there were funny parts, and I found myself chuckling a few times, and the story had an interesting premise, this just didn't cut it for me. I had a hard time getting into the writing style, and barely was able to make it halfway through before I quit. Not my thing, I guess.
  • (4/5)
    A fun adventure, with surprising depth. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

    Added 7-18-15:
    Listened to this again recently - still delightful :)
  • (4/5)
    Cute and funny!
  • (3/5)
    It was pretty funny and a good read but a little long. It seemed to take a while for the story to really get started and then it ended rather abruptly.
  • (5/5)
    I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings and this is one of the best I've come across. Healey brings together four different Princes Charming, each with unique strengths and weaknesses, who must work together in order to defeat an evil witch. The author enjoys playing around with traditional storytelling techniques, as well as providing a clever in-world explanation for why the "official" versions of fairy tales (the ones that we're all familiar with) are so different from the actual events.
  • (4/5)
    A super fun retold fairytale mash up that will appeal to boys as much as girls. Recommended for fans of How to Train Your Dragon, Sisters Grimm, and The Frog Princess series. A great mixture of silliness, adventure, and well-known characters.
  • (3/5)
    It was a fun read and fast paced story line.
  • (4/5)
    Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn't know that, did you?
    -- Prologue: Things You Don't Know About Prince Charming

    I absolutely enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It tells the story of 4 princes and how they came together and went on an adventure. The princes are from the following stories: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White & Rapunzel. These princes are all known as Prince Charming and they hate that. People don't even realize they are not the same guy. They all have different strengths and weaknesses. And they are not all seasoned fighters to say the least.

    This book is told by a narrator who also talks to the reader and makes jokes. I loved the play on the fairy-tales that we are all so familiar with. Not only are the princes different from what the reader expects, but the princesses are too. I loved the way the author played with the qualities we all know and tweaked them into something new.

    Here are some quotes that may give you a better idea of what to expect:

    Two people from different kingdoms -- who are engaged to be married -- seeing and talking to each other. Crazy, I know.

    Liam furrowed his brow. "Is that 'Ha,' as in, 'How silly of you to ask: everyone knows I'm the best swordsman in the land'?" he asked hopefully. "No, that was 'Ha,' as in, 'I've never even held a sword," Duncan answered. "But I will provide all the flute music we need.

    Look, Frederic is a big goober, and he makes me feel like I'm going to sprain my eyeballs from rolling them so much, but he's a good guy.

    On still another road, a green-haired man wobbled by on peppermint-stick stilts; a fiery-plumed bird of paradise perched on his shoulder. But he's not in this story, so don't pay any attention to him.

    Oops, sorry about that. I probably should have said, "Spoiler alert."


    Recommended to:
    I don't know what else to say. If you like fairy tales with a twist, definitely read this book. And I highly recommend it to kids in grades 3 to 8. (Another winner from the Sunshine State Nomination list that I'm sure will be popular in our school library.)
  • (4/5)
    I read this E book because my sons' friend told me it was funny and I wanted to discuss it with him and my son. They were right, it was a funny story and yet there were places in the story that reflected true human emotion. I did enjoy the spoof on fairy tales and the good versus evil. This story did give a view of what might of happened after the "happily ever after," in some famous fairy tales. I do hope more students discover this book.
  • (4/5)
    With this first book in what is currently a three book series, Healy has taken the characters from four of the classic fairy tales and created a unique tale of princely - and princessly - adventure, with a wonderful comic flare to it. Yes, our "Princesses" are still in the picture, even if the focus is on the guys. Under Healy's pen the princesses are not the "damsels in distress" to be rescued and swept off their feet like in the original stories. Nope. Far from it, and one of the reasons I found this story to be a delightfully fresh, charming and entertaining tale for me: the interesting character makeovers Healy has given the princesses: the nasty despot Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty; the adventure seeking Ella (Cinderella); the still caring but "I need my own space" Snow White and Rapanzel the healer. Even the princes are wonderful: Rapunzel's fighter with anger management issues Prince Gustof; Ella's dainty flute playing, spoon collecting Prince Frederick; Snow White's some what dim but lovable Prince Duncan and dashing Prince Liam who is doing whatever he can to stay clear of marriage-hungry Briar Rose. If that isn't enough to entice you to read this one, there is also an eloquently spoken gentle giant, a temper-tantrum throwing 10-year-old robber king and an evil witch who has a thing against bards who never seem to get the story right - don't we all? - to give our adventurers more than enough to keep them occupied. In a nutshell, Healy has done for fairy-tales what Marie Phillips did for Camelot with her The Table of Less Valued Knights: provided readers with a comically different take/point-of-view on those childhood staples. Good stuff. I have already downloaded and started listening to the next book in the series, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle.
  • (4/5)
    (GR rating is rounded up from an actual rating of 3.5 stars, sometimes I wish GR had half stars, or was on a 10 point scale...)

    This was cute. Sometimes a bit silly and overdone, but the humor was good, and I liked the unique take on the princes and their princesses.
  • (4/5)
    One of the funniest books I've read in a long time. What's the story with the Prince Charming in all the fairy tales we've heard? They can't all be the same guy. This is their story, four Charmings who team up to save, well, their kingdoms. But really, super funny. Definitely read it.
  • (3/5)
    I believe the term is "rollicking." It went on too long, and the dialog was all modern preteen ("Aww...sounds like someone's having a pity party and didn't invite the rest of us!") but I think it will appeal to the lovers of Shrek and other stories of that ilk.
  • (4/5)
    Very clever take on the prince charming s that we've come to know today. My son and I were excited to read this. For a almost five year old this story occasionally lost his attention near the end. But for any kid interested in heroes, dragons, trolls, etc this book will be such a fun time to read.
  • (4/5)
    Very clever take on the prince charming s that we've come to know today. My son and I were excited to read this. For a almost five year old this story occasionally lost his attention near the end. But for any kid interested in heroes, dragons, trolls, etc this book will be such a fun time to read.
  • (4/5)
    Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom was a very fun book. I first picked it up because of the awesome illustrated cover, but after I read the intro there was no putting it down. First off, well, the premise itself was just awesome. I love the idea of it! Anything done with fairytales is A-OK by me, seriously. But anywho, this is one of those books that I kind of feel to old for...it was way fabulous, and I loved it to death, but it was written for kids much younger than me.But that's not the point. The illustrations were awesome, the story was captivating, and the overall experience was something special. I loved all the princes-- Gustav, Liam, Duncan and Frederic. Weirdly, I think that anti-social Gustav was my favorite, being the youngest of two sets of octuplets (seriously laughter occurred when that was announced). His dorky heroism and complete uncaring nature won me over, y'all.In spite of that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the other princes, and of course the princesses too! Almost every chapter was in a different point of view, which you'd think would be confusing, but it really wasn't at all. It was fan-freaking-tastic. Each point of view was uniquely fleshed out, and each and every character had their own quirks. It was all very whimsical and imaginative.All in all, The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom was a really interesting break from all the bad books I've been reading lately. I really loved it, and I'm hoping to get to the sequel soon!
  • (4/5)
    I was halfway through this before it really started capturing my attention. I'm sure that was in large part due to my frame of mind - not really in the mood for something light or humorous at the time, I think. However, it was really well done and it finally did wrap me up and proved to be an easy four stars.
  • (4/5)
    Amusing farce of prince and princess stories. First of a series. The four Prince Charmings are somewhat incompetent or goofy at the beginning of the book, but because of the bards their stories were told as if they had been heroes. When they get together to search for Cinderella, who had been captured by an evil witch, they learn to work together and become real heroes.I didn't finish the book because I got the general idea and had several others to get to, but I can see why middle grade elementary students would enjoy this series.
  • (3/5)
    This fairytale retelling mash-up of the stories of several Princes Charming won't change middle grade literature, but it's fun, will most likely be enjoyed by some the (rather younger) target demographic, and had us chuckling.

    I didn't like the main twist, the one female dominated genre - NOW from a MALE perspective!! - a twist which doesn't really add much to anything ever, really, since it's the default, anyway.
    Still, the characters really did grow on me, and towards the end I didn't mix them up anymore.

    The language annoyed me at times because I don't think that some of the more slang-y elements will stand the test of time, but as I said before, this book doesn't seem to be designed to do so.

    I'm a bit baffled as to who is the target demographic here, however. I think that it is supposed to be geared at boys under 10, but I can't see the boys under ten that I know Finished this. Girls, sure, but they don't really need the male perspective. For those boys (and they do exist!) who do enjoy fairy tales, I would have liked Frederic to retain some of his daintiness throughout the novel.
  • (5/5)
    The four Princes Charming don’t get the “happily ever afters” you might think and instead, wind up on a hilarious adventure that reimagines the “after” of all their fairytales. The story is a lot of fun with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, adding diverse personalities to familiar characters, and I’m so glad I read it, thanks to the recommendation of my sister-in-law.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book, it was so funny, light heart, and just perfect for the easy feel good read. This an all ages book that just makes your feels happy :).

    What I like most about this book is that we finally get a look through" The Prince Charming’s " eyes. How it really happened and most importantly, what their names really actually are.

    Have you ever notice that in movies like Cinderella, Snow White etc.. The prince’s name is never actually said? I believe the only one where I remember hearing a prince’s name was in Sleeping Beauty, at the very beginning. Now that I’m thinking about it, was the Beast's name ever reviled in Beauty and the Best ? To tell the truth, I either don't remember or it simply wasn't spoken about.

    Crazy Right?

    If you want the other side of the story, read this book and be prepared to laugh like the world is ending and you're setting pretty.

    All the Best

    Emily
  • (4/5)
    The collective Prince(s) Charming are all different princes. Prince Frederick (Cinderella's prince) grew up coddled and not allowed to do anything, so he is afraid of adventure. Prince Gustav (Rapunzel) is a burly guy and the youngest of 16 princes. Prince Liam (Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty) seems well-adjusted and most “hero”-like of all four princes, but Briar Rose is a horrible person, so Liam breaks it off with her. Prince Duncan (Snow White) is pretty laid-back and easy-going and is the only prince who has actually married his princess. This was a lot of fun! If you want to continue on with the “ever after” part of the various stories and see all the princes work together, this is a great book. Bronson Pinchot was the narrator of the book and was (probably no surprise) amazing! Not only does he do amazing accents, but all the different voices – you would never know it's one person! I am definitely continuing the series and as long as Pinchot continues to read it, I'll likely be looking for the audios.
  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I'm only adding the book so that I can remember that I tried it and threw it away. No need to borrow it again. It's pretty bad.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Review originally published on my blog: AWordsWorth.blogspot.comWe're all familiar with the "standard" fairy tales - Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Rapunzel: they're stories we can recite without pause. But what do we know about the Princes, really? They don't even have names! Just "Prince Charming," and you know it can't be the same Prince Charming in all of the stories (otherwise it wouldn't be True Love's Kiss!). In this first book of a new middle grades series, Christopher Healy introduces us to the Princes Charming (who all have real names, by the way). Don't let the "middle grades" label dissuade you: this is a book that all ages can appreciate! How to explain this story ... Essentially, what Healy has done is take the oh-so-familiar fairy tales and turned them on their head. What we end up with is a band of mismatched Princes running around trying to make a name for themselves - literally. They're tired of being called "Prince Charming" and having everyone only remember the chick. This band of Princes are ready for adventure, ready to be heroes. And they're searching for Cinderella, who is apparently being held captive by the witch who entrapped Rapunzel. What the guys don't know is that Cinderella has some major spunk of her own, and is a force to be reckoned with. (And if you think you know 'Sleeping Beauty,' well, you're in for a surprise on that one! That girl be crazy.) I loved this mashed up story, laughing out loud at parts, and falling in love with the idea of all these fairy tale characters jumbled into one wild mess. Prince Liam (Sleeping Beauty) stole my heart. For real. He's amazing (and the only "true" hero among the lot). Prince Duncan (Snow White) cracked me up, and there's just something endearing about Gustav (Rapunzel) and his brash style. Frederic (Cinderella) is the Prince I connected least with, but he has his good points, and is a key thread in the storyline. And don't get me started on the Bandit King. Seriously, this is an excellent - and hilarious - first book, and I have very high hopes for the rest of the series.
  • (4/5)
    Despite the hero-type things done by the Princes Charming, I loved the princesses who are perfectly capable of taking charge - very funny fractured fairy tale!
  • (5/5)
    I don't think I can recommend this book highly enough, either as a read-aloud for younger readers, or as an independent read for middle grade readers. The story centers around the misguided, misunderstood "Prince Charmings" of well-known fairy tales. Healy's writing is witty, fast-paced, and draws the reader along on a journey as the Princes try to make themselves into heroes and not the laughingstocks that they have become. A must, must, MUST read.
  • (4/5)
    The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom asks the question, what happened after the fairy tale? Was it really "Happily Ever After" for Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and all of those Princes Charming?The answer, of course, is "not really." Prince Frederick finds that he's not daring enough for Cinderella, who longs for a life of adventure after her years of drudgery -- Frederick's idea of an adventure involves a picnic basket and cushions. Prince Gustav is humiliated by the fact that Rapunzel saved him when he had been thrown out of the tower and blinded, something his brothers will never let him forget. Prince Liam discovers that Sleeping Beauty is actually quite a brat when she's awake, and that his parents still expect him to marry her because her kingdom is a wealthy one. And while Prince Duncan and Snow White are already happily married, he's sometimes a little too quirky even for her. Over the course of the story, these four princes band together and face down a giant, a dragon, some trolls, a bandit king, and a wicked witch -- learning along the way how to value each other's unique abilities in order to work together.This is another fun fantasy read, with a lot of slapstick humor and unexpected adventures for the princes -- and, in some cases, their princesses. As an adult reader, I thought the writing had some rough patches, and the whole shebang could have used a little more editing, but I think that young readers who enjoy lighthearted fantasy and aren't put off by thick tomes (this one weighs in at over 400 pages) will absolutely eat it up.
  • (4/5)
    I thought this book was hilarious!! A great satire on classic fairytales, as told in alternating chapters by the princes and the princesses. As long as you don't take this book too seriously, I think you'll enjoy it.
  • (5/5)
    A twist & turn remake of classic fairy-tales told from a different point of view! This is one of my all time favorite versions so far! Wonderfully written but still appropriate for children 8-12 as well as Young adults & up! If your looking for a funny, non stop fairytale you've found the right series! Wonderful characters and a riveting plot! You've never read a fairytale like this before! Great Read, can't wait to read Book
  • (4/5)
    The world may know the princes associated with Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White all as "Prince Charming," but each has his own name-- and his own problems. When the group unites against a witch to find a missing princess (and some missing bards), they make a name for themselves beyond "Charming."The over-the-top prince characters, though not particularly developed, are amusing and endearing, and Healy's campy style keeps the reader laughing. Though the length of the book, at 438 pages, may turn off some reluctant readers, the fast-paced story and many interspersed pictures make the book seem much shorter. The black and white cartoonish illustrations are reminiscent of the CGI animation style popular with modern fairy tale movies-- and since the fractured-fairy tale tone also fits those films, it won't be long before the world sees Dreamworks' take on The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.Recommended especially for students in 4-7 grades.