cover image The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Christopher Healy, illus. by Todd Harris. HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $16.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-211743-4

Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel—classic stories that share one important character: Prince Charming. But Frederic, Duncan, Liam, and Gustav are four very different princes, and happily ever after isn’t working out as well as they’d hoped. Cinderella has walked out on Frederic in search of adventure, oddball Duncan gets lost in the woods after Snow White sends him away, Liam’s reputation is in tatters after he refuses to marry the wealthy Sleeping Beauty, and Gustav is the laughingstock of the kingdom because Rapunzel saved him. After Cinderella is captured by a witch, Frederic calls on the other princes for help, but when their quest lands them in the middle of an evil plot against their kingdoms, the four must get past their clashing personalities and save the day. Despite a reliance on coincidences, 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. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Cheryl Pientka, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (May)