"There's a lot you don't know about Prince Charming...Some of you may not even realize that there's more than one Prince Charming. And that none of them are actually named Charming. No one is. Charming isn't a name; it's an adjective...(And) if there was anything that Liam, Duncan, Gustav, and Frederic all had in common, it was that none of them were very happy about being a Prince Charming. Their mutual hatred of that name was a big part of what brought them together. Not that teaming up was necessarily the best idea for these guys."
Whatever you do, don't dismiss this book simply because it's shelved in children's fiction. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healey has a lot to offer to readers of all ages. First and foremost, it's funny. (Laugh out loud funny in some places.) I loved getting the princes' perspectives on Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, especially Prince Liam's. (He's the prince from the Sleeping Beauty story and by far the handsomest and most heroic of all the princes. Unfortunately for him, in this book Briar Rose is much more Briar than Rose--you would have called off the wedding, too.) These four princes are tired of getting short-changed in all the stories. After all, they're the heroes! Each one is uniquely flawed (and not always that heroic), but all of them made me laugh, especially Duncan, Snow White's talkative, eccentric and excitable prince. In fact, the only prince I didn't like quite as much as the others was hardheaded and impulsive Gustav, who charges into every situation without thinking, but even he had his humorous moments. Frederic is the quietest of all the princes and the least like a hero. (Most of the time he just wants to go home.) Their adventures are more like misadventures, and at times it's questionable whether or not they can save themselves let alone save a kingdom. Then there are the princesses. Ella is by far the best; she's adventurous and brave and the kind of girl who doesn't need a prince to rescue her...she'll rescue herself, thank you very much. I also liked Prince Liam's younger sister, Lila; she's daring and smart just like her brother. There are also trolls, dwarfs, a giant, a dragon, and an evil witch. Healy takes these classic fairy tale characters and makes them fresh, surprising, and fun. I loved everything about this book. (And so will you.)