Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade Fiction
Format: Paperback and ebook
Series: #1 in the Hero’s Guide series
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Publication Date: 2012
From the publisher:
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, the princes 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.
I’m not even sure where I first heard about this series but the idea of a fractured fairy tale parody featuring the princes from four of the most famous fairy tales sounded fun.
It was definitely fun and I’ll be getting the next book (The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle) from the library soon.
The four princes are rather annoyed that no one knows their names because the bards called all of them Prince Charming in their songs. As they meet up and decide to rescue Cinderella (who needs little or no rescuing) from a witch who is plotting her Supreme Scheme for Infamy.
I enjoyed the princes and their varying degrees of ineptitude.
All the princes had their issues—Frederic was easily intimidated, Liam’s ego could stand to be reined in a bit, and Gustav could use some impulse control—but Duncan was flat-out strange.
This was just a fun adventure and it manages to parody many of the classic fairy tale tropes but in an entertaining and funny way. It’s got plot complications galore and the illustrations by Todd Harris just add to the fun.
It was just the escapist adventure that I needed. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.