This is a fun book for young readers. In The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, first-time author, Christopher Healy, has written a novel from Prince Charming’s point-of-view. Four different Prince Charmings have been rejected from the very women they saved—Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel—and set out to fight a new enemy that could endanger each of their kingdoms.
We asked Healy what kind of books his characters liked to read, and he responded with this very amusing anecdote (and a great list of fantasy books.) If his novel is anything like this blog post, I’d say readers are in for a real treat.
The Princes’ Bookshelves
by Christopher Healy
My book, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, features four very different Princes Charmings. There’s Frederic, the sophisticated and witty, if somewhat — okay, extremely — timid dancer who swept Cinderella off her feet; Liam, the brave and bold Hero’s Hero, who happens to be saddled with a spoiled and spiteful fiancée; Gustav, a brawny brawler who would sooner charge headfirst to his doom than back away from a fight; and Duncan, the eccentric (to put it mildly) flutist who is more comfortable among woodland critters than other human beings.
Indigo asked what type of books these four very varied men liked to read. And although Gustav doesn’t read much (I believe he once used an unabridged dictionary as a shield), I decided to set the princes loose to browse the selection and each pick out their three favourite books. Here I present to you, the results, along with commentary from the princes themselves.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: “I’m not exactly sure what the story is here, but I find the title very intriguing. It’s sort of what I wish for — you know, for Ella to be enchanted… by a certain prince who shall remain unnamed.”
The Princess Bride by William Goldman: “A dashing hero, a beautiful-yet-strong-minded princess, wordplay — this is exactly the sort of tale I used to like hearing as a bedtime story when I was younger. As long as I don’t have to be in it, I like it.”
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: “But only the first thirty pages or so. It’s very nice up until then — a jovial fellow living in a happy little shire, laughing with his friends and eating all sorts of yummy delectables. But then some dwarfs come and it gets kind of harrowing after that. I couldn’t read any further.”
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle: “The man was a true hero. He risked his life time and again to fight for justice and protects innocents. And yet he was treated like a criminal. I can relate.”
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen: “So the protagonist of this story is not a real prince, yet he’s still a hero… I find the concept very intriguing.”
The Once and Future King by T.H. White: “King Arthur — Now there’s another man who understood how difficult it is to be a hero. He and I both began our heroing at a young age — though I might add that I did not require the help of a magical sword.”
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis: “I’d be happier if it were The First Battle, because that would mean more rough stuff to come — but at least a book with this title is definitely going to have some fighting in it. Good guys kicking the tar out of bad guys: If you’re going to make me read a book, that’s what I’m looking for.”
Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer: “Is this a travel book? Because the Sea of Trolls sounds like a place I’d like to visit. All I’d need to pack is my ax and a sack of salted meat. Now, that’s a vacation.”
Warriors by Erin Hunter: “Ah, I’m definitely taking this one. Warriors. That sounds right up my alley. What? They’re all cats! Oh, starf it all!
Redwall by Brian Jacques: “Another mouse! Ooh, and lots of other animals, too — hedgehogs, rabbits, otters. And they all have names. I suppose that’s a wee bit disappointing, as I would have liked to name them myself. But you don’t really do that with books, do you? Name the characters yourself? Ooh, I just got a brilliant idea for my next book! The Adventures of ________!”
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein: “Did you know animals could do magic? I did. Or at least I suspected as much after that time I gave a mouse a cookie and my entire home ended up destroyed.”