July 17, 2013

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

by Christopher Healy
ages: 8+
First sentence: "A true hero plays the flute."
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Others in the series: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

When we last left our Fair Heroes, they had just vanquished the witch and put the Bandit King into his place. Back home, though, everything is not all roses. Liam is still engaged to Briar, but he'd rather NOT marry her. Ella and Frederic are still engaged, but he's quite concerned about the time she spends with Liam. Gustav is hiding from Rapunzel. It seems the only people who are happy are Snow and Duncan, who is currently writing the Hero's Guide to Being a Hero. And even the popularity of the League of Princes, after about 15 minutes of (bard) fame, is waning.

What they need is a new adventure. That comes in the form of Briar Rose, determined to Have What She Wants. Specifically: Liam. She also has this diabolical plan to conquer and rule ALL of the thirteen kingdoms, and is using the League as a means to her ends. Of course she's not the only "bad guy": the Bandit King is back, as King of Rauberia and there's an even badder guy in town: the Warlord of Dar. How will the League of Princes handle this?

Well, much like they do in the first book: with of silliness, laughs, luck, and heart. Yeah, sure, this is more of the same as the first book, but why mess with a good thing? I loved the characters (A has a soft spot for Duncan), and the situations were so over-the-top it was endearing rather than off-putting. The chapter titles were ridiculous, as were the "book" quotes underneath. (My favorite? "There is no I in League of Princes.") I loved how the girls held their own with the guys, and how everyone (even Frederic!) found their strengths and used them to help them achieve their ends. It really was a team effort, and I appreciated that. Oh, and I should give a brief but heartfelt nod to the illustrations, which really are delightful.

The story's not done, either. While the story wrapped up (yay!), Healy left us with a bit of a cliffhanger, which only serves to make me eager for the next installment of the League of Princes.

(And, as a quick follow up to my concern: I do think that this one is something both boys and girls are reading. Which makes me very happy.)

No comments: