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What We’re Reading:The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle

Post by Leslie Gardner
Posted July 25, 2014 in NoveList Bookshelf

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The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

ISBN: 9780062118455

“But don’t worry.  It wouldn’t be long before the princes reunited and put the fate of the entire world in peril.  That’s just sort of what they do.”

I discovered the first volume of the League of Princes series through an audiobook narrated by Bronson Pinchot.  Aside from Jim Dale who narrates the Harry Potter series, Pinchot is my favorite narrator -- he brings multiple characters to life with their own individualized voices and personalities.  After enjoying The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, I needed to read the next one ASAP.  I wanted to go along with the intriguing characters for their next misadventure!

The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle reunites the four Princes Charming,  aka, Princes Duncan, Frederick, Liam and Gustav.  This time, they sneak into the Robber King’s castle to rescue a jeweled sword for Briar Rose, who is definitely up to no good.  Princesses Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella make appearances, as do trolls, giants, bladejaw eels and candy-related torture devices.

The tongue-in-cheek humor snuck up on me; what I thought I always knew about heroes gets turned on its ear.  I was constantly surprised and amused with how the characters never did what I expected them to do.  The humor was always upbeat and never mean-spirited.  The storylines included teamwork, friendship and problem solving.  I smiled when the creative curses slipped ("Criminy Pete,"  "Crud," or "Holy Snap.") 

Both volumes reminded me of the antics in The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  It was fantastic to see beloved fairy tales told from the princes’ point of view. 


Recommended by Leslie Gardner, Senior Cataloger at NoveList.