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The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

by Christopher Healy

(May 1st, 2012: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins)

There’s a lot you don’t know about Prince Charming.

Sure, we’re all aware of those guys who show up at the end of fairy tales to save the princesses, throw on a fancy suit, and get hitched in a lavish wedding. But have you ever wondered who those guys really are? Or if the few, meager facts we do hear about them are even true? (Hint: Generally not.)

In the first volume of the Hero’s Guide saga, we meet Prince Frederic, Prince Liam, Prince Gustav, and Prince Duncan — better known as the Princes Charming who rescued Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Snow White, respectively — and find out that these men are far more (or less) than the cardboard cutout heroes we’ve heard tales about. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their kingdoms, these four men bond over their shared anonymity and band together to battle witches, goblins, trolls, bandits, and giants in order to save each of their kingdoms from a diabolical plot. And by the end, with any luck, they may finally become the real heroes they were always meant to be.

THE BARDS HAVE SPOKEN!

IndieBound Indie Next List Winner

Amazon.com Best Books of the Year Winner

Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book Winner

New York Times Notable Winner

“One of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales… The princes in “The Hero’s Guide” may not be charming, but Healy’s romp of a book about them most certainly is.” —Los Angeles Times

“The premise is indeed charming…a quest that recalls at moments the Musketeers and at others, the Marxes.” —New York Times Book Review

“Healy’s fast-paced debut is overflowing with suspense, humor, and carefully developed characters. Healy injects age-old characters and fairy tale tropes with a fresh, contemporary sensibility, resulting in a crowd-pleaser with laugh-out-loud lines on nearly every page.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The fairy-tale world is tongue-in-cheek but fleshed out, creating its own humor rather than relying on pop-culture references. Healy juggles with pitch-perfect accuracy, rendering the princes as goobers with good hearts and individual strengths, keeping them distinct and believable. Inventive and hilarious.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] lively, humorous adventure.” —Wall Street Journal

“This is the most fun you can have short of rounding up King Arthur’s knights, filling their armor with laughing gas, and driving them to a roller disco.” —Frank Cottrell Boyce, New York Times bestselling author of COSMIC

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275 Comments

  1. I just reread the series and I enjoyed it just as much as I had the first time around. I was wondering, with the last book did you set up some sort of love triangle between Briar, Liam and Ella? I know that throughout the series the Liam and Briar thing was repeatedly brushed off as something that shouldn’t happen, but towards the end I got the feeling that there might still be room for exploration with the two of them. I don’t know, maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part seeing as I ended up really liking Briar by the time I finished the trilogy. I feel like she really grew and that is actually pretty badass. I think she ties with Ruffian as my third favorite character, after Lila and Gustav.
    Anyways, I love love loved the series. It was such a joy to come back to it. I think it’s my favorite re-envisioning of the classic fairytales.

    1. Thanks so much! I agree completely with your thoughts on Briar. She is one of my favorite characters as well and probably shows more growth than anyone else over the course of the trilogy. As for her romantic future, that remains to be seen.

  2. Also the Jean-val-Jean reference was hilarious. I didn’t get it when I read it the first time around, but yeah, that was fun.

  3. My daughter has read and reread the Hero’s guide books ever since I read them to her when she was 10. They are her favorite. She is asking for hardcover copy of the series for her 15th birthday. Is there a place to buy a signed hardcover of the Hero’s Guide series?

    1. If your local bookstores don’t have the hardcovers in stock, ask if they can order them for you. Most independent bookstores will make special orders like that. As for getting them signed, well, I’m not sure which stores I’ve done signings at still have signed copies in stock. But email me directly (chris@christopherhealy.com) and I’ll see what I can do to help.