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The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw

by Christopher Healy

(April 2014: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins)

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don’t you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the thirteen kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered—and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects, along with Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Lila. Now they’re on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names.
Along the way, however, they discover that Briar’s murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all thirteen kingdoms—a plot that will lead them across the ocean, through a scorching desert, and to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.
Christopher Healy returns once again to the fairy-tale world he created for the last installment in his epically humorous history. Giant mongooses will be battled, brain-melting beetles will be run from, dozens of feathers will be plucked, and, perhaps, kingdoms will finally be saved, now and forever.

THE BARDS HAVE SPOKEN!

“As funny as the previous two Hero’s Guide titles, as hyper as a child after ingesting a pint of sugar, and as long as a phone book (whatever that is). Fans won’t want the fun to end, happily ever after or otherwise.” — Booklist

“Part screwball comedy, part sly wit, and all fun.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Healy’s latest foray into the Thirteen Kingdoms has more than the usual amount of wit, hijinks, princes, princesses and adventures.” — Huffington Post

“With its gender-bending stereotypes and oodles of action, this addition will be welcomed by fans of the series.” — School Library Journal

“ZERO STARS!!! That’s how many stars this book has! I only like books with LOTS OF STARS! Especially stars ON THE COVER! A book like that might even give you a CLUE!” — The Pumpkin Thief

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220 Comments

  1. Oh! I just realized something, sorry to bother you so much. I have read all your novels and they were very enjoyable, so thank you very much, but I realized that all of you books have the same amount of words in their title (sort of)
    The Hero’s Guide To Saving Your Kingdom (7 words)
    The Hero’s Guide To Storming The Castle (7 words)
    The Hero’s Guide To Being An Outlaw (7 words)
    A Perilous Journey Of Danger And Mayhem (7 words)
    The Villains Guide To Being A Hero (7 words)
    I realize that the perilous journey books have extra words at the end that distinguish each book from the next, which is why I said sort of.
    A quick side note, I am dyslexic and english isn’t my first language, so did you have to chose the words Perilous, Journey, And Mayhem? Those are three of the hardest words to spell and say? You might as well go big and have the word Burglary in your next book. Do you have any idea how hard that is to say? I am kidding though, I like your long titles.

    1. Very astute observation! And the title of the picture book I wrote is This Is Not That Kind Of Book (7 words!). And I was born in July, which is the 7th month! Would you believe me if I said I hadn’t planned for all my titles to be 7 words, but that I only noticed if afterwards? Or is it too much of a coincidence to be unplanned? Either way, I’m sorry those words I used are difficult ones——but they’re such great words!

      1. One day, Lila was bounty hunting with ruffian the blue when they were told that someone stole things from their house. When they went to inspect, it turned out that this someone had not just stollen a few things from their house, they had essentially stolen… their house. the planks of wood from the walls, ceiling, and floor had been stolen. Everything in their house had been stolen, even the farmer’s moustache. The only thing left was a tomato. For some reason.
        “Did you see the person?” Lila asked the trembling wife.
        “No, we just woke up and everything was gone.” She said. Lila didn’t know how someone could possibly steal everything in someone’s house, including the beds and the floor, and not wake up, but since they were in such a state, lila didn’t question it.
        “Lila, let me ask the questions.” Ruffian the blue said. “Did they leave anything behind?”
        “Not- not exactly.” The farmer said.
        “What on earth does that mean?” Lila asked, growing frustrated.
        “Lila.” Ruffian said in a warning tone. Lila sighed. “What did they leave behind?”
        “Well when I woke up… there was… a bit of charcoal on my face.” The husband said slowly.
        “All over your face?” Ruffian asked.
        “No… in… very specific parts of my face.”
        “What do you mean by that?” Ruffian asked, trying not to loose his patience.
        “In a handlebar moustache shape below his nose and the letters P-B-L-B-L-B” The wife said finally.
        “Do you know anyone named… publublublub?” Ruffian asked. Lila started cracking up.
        “No, of course not.”
        “How about pablablablab?” Lila asked, dying of laughter. Ruffian gave her a warning look. She stifled her laughter.
        “Wait a second, did you say a handlebar moustache?” Lila asked, realizing something.
        “Yes.” The wife said. Lila and Ruffian looked at eachother.

        “Whaddyou want.” The Bandit king said, licking blue cupcake icing off of his fingers.
        “Did you steal someone’s house?” Lila asked.
        “Ginger bread house?” Deeb asked.
        “No.” Lila said.
        “A house made of hay, twigs, or brick?” Deeb asked.
        “No.”
        “Then no.”
        “Wait, does that mean you stole a… Nevermind.”
        “Then where did you get those planks of wood?” Lila asked.
        “Oh wait, I did steal a house. From this fat old couple.”
        “Did you steal the man’s moustache too.”
        “Yep.”
        “How did you manage to pull that off?” Lila asked.
        “The dude is a really deep sleeper. So I just pulled.” Deeb said.
        “Why did you steal it?”Lilla asked, and then Deeb pulled a fake mustache that was held onto a piece of cloth, wiped some icing on the back of it for glue, and stuck it on his face.
        “So people take me more seriously.”

        Now I really have to do my homework, bye.

  2. hi i just started rereading the heroes guide for the fourth or fith time!!! i’m dying to see if rapunzel actually marries frederic. also WHO IS RUFFIANS DAUGHTER??????ps i love the ffff

  3. The first time I ever read the Heroes’ Guide series, I was in the seventh (or maybe eighth?) grade, sad, and a pretty bad aspiring author. I frequented this site as a respite from the real world, especially since you, Mr Healy, replied to almost every single comment, which I respect immensely. I have now graduated high school, am a legal adult, and wanted to return to this site to thank you. I liked feeling like I was someone worth listening to by someone I respected and whose works I liked. Last year, I left a comment thanking you for inspiring me to keep writing and to say that I’d reached 100 pages on my novel. This year, I want to thank you again (may I put you in the acknowledgements section?) for listening (well, reading) and responding to the comments of us readers for so many years. I have finished my novel. It is 187 pages and about 50,000 words. Not terribly long, but it is done. A good deal of the humor in it is very likely inspired by your series (for goodness sake, the title is “The Guild of Useless Superheroes”), and it is far from publishable, but the story has been told. Thank you for helping me believe I could write back when I was a 13-year-old kid who thought illuminati aliens and characters who irritated the narrator were good plot points.

    1. Thank you, Caroline. I am honored and touched by your words. Readers like you are the reason I love writing, and communicating with you all over the past ten years has been a privilege. Best of luck with your novel! I hope to be leaving fan comments on your author website someday.

  4. OH SO GOOD!
    I looooooooooooved it! I TOATALLY thought Gustav and Val were going to end up!
    This book was Soooo genius, and unlike another book in every good possible way!!
    ALSO, in Lila’s head, did she ever have a crush on Smimf???? 😀