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    Review of THE HERO'S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM by Christopher Healy

    Walden Pond Press, May 2012

    In the stories, the princess (or scullery maid) finds her Prince Charming and that's the end of the story. We just assume that they'll live happily ever after. But what if the prince has a name and it isn't "Charming?" What if the prince was brought up to be afraid to try anything new and his Cinderella wants to experience adventure? What if the sleeping beauty is severely lacking in the personality department even though she happens to be beautiful? What if a wicked witch decides she needs to make a name for herself by destroying all of the kingdoms in the land?

    In THE HERO'S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM, author Christopher Healy asks exactly these questions. Four Prince "Charmings," actually named Liam, Frederic, Duncan and Gustav find one another in their attempts to escape or re-claim their princesses. Working together, they learn to (eventually) rely on one another's strengths... Liam's heroism, Gustav's take-the-bull-by-the-horns attitude, Frederic's intelligence and Duncan's confidence in the universe.

    SAVING THE KINGDOM is targetted at young adult readers but I haven't been a young adult for a while and I enjoyed the story a lot. It's a fun take at the artifically sweetened fairy tales many of us grew up with, a solid adventure, and shows both princes and princesses acting like real people (not always particularly smart real people but isn't that part of the point?) If you have a hard time believing that Cinderella should win the prince without actually talking to him, that Sleeping Beauty's beauty is all the virtue she needs, or that princes should be allowed to have actual names rather than be stuck with the generic "Charming" you'll get a kick out of SAVING THE KINGDOM.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 5/09/12

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