Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.
Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes - a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.
©2012 Christopher Healy (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
Runner and mother of two from Hove, UK. Relies on good audiobooks to stop the kids from fighting in the car. Occasionally buys one for her.
The problem with many fantasy epics is that it is set in a totally separate world that you have to buy in to. For adults with many years reading experience this is less of an issue, but for a 7 year old it can be slightly more confusing.
Not so this series. All boys are familiar with fairy stories, and the idea that being known as "Prince Charming" would be really embarrassing and annoying is something that my boys (aged 7 & 9) were onboard with from the get-go.
The narrator does a great range of voices, and some fantastic knowing asides ("you just wait until chpt 19, it will all make sense then") which will keep slightly younger children in the loop. The plot is frankly rather complicated, but unfolds beautifully into a totally chaotic finale which saw me sitting with the kids in the car on our driveway for the last 10 minutes as they absolutely refused to go in the house until it had finished. Can't say better than that.
Yankee city-girl living in rural Switzerland
I bought this largely owing to Bronson Pinchot's narration. He does fabulous character voices & accents. (I love him in the Grimoire series!) But Christopher Healy's storytelling is very funny and gives Pinchot the perfect platform to showcase his skills. I'm definitely buying the sequel!
This book and audiobook has made me laugh out loud countless times! The narrator is brilliant, and the accents unbelievable! The reader should know that the book is really hard to locate in libraries but is really worth reading. I loved this book and I recommend the sequels as well!
This book is brilliant! I have been laughing my bum off along with the kids. My dyslexic, anti-reading son has asked me to buy the books and I am so grateful! The narrator is outstanding!
Kids' version of Monty python?
Any scene involving Duncan.
Laughed til I cried, so both!
Highly recommended for both boys and girls (and their mothers!)
"In the tradition of Princess Bride"
The reviewer who mentioned Princess Bride was right. I bought this on a whim (and a liking for Bronson Pinchot's reading). I hated it at first - was very close to taking the return option - but I was trying to listen to it on a workday. Gave it another chance on the weekend - it is definitely a weekend or vacation or road trip book - then had trouble putting it down. It is very silly and the plot feels like it is being made up as it goes along, But its all a great romp with a reader who brings the bizarre cast of characters to life. If you like Princess Bride and/or the Jasper Fforde Nursery Crime books,or just want something very light to listen to, give this one a try.
"Warning Gushing Ahead…….."
Wow I now understand the Bronson Pinchot love! All of his voices in this one are so fantastic! He made me see animation and characters in my head each one with a distinct personality, look and facial expressions he totally brought this great book to life for me! Between Christopher’s fun writing and Bronson’s narration this one will be a go to book when I am feeling down! And if you are listening to the audio make sure you listen all the way to the last second!
This is the funniest book it is so much fun! This is humorous fairytale retelling at its best. It reexamines the Prince & Princess mythos. Do you really think the prince’s name was Charming? Who names their kid Charming? Do all the prince’s have names not just The Prince and if you are a Prince must you be a hero? If you are a Princess must you always be the lady in distress can you not save yourself? And how come the bards never write songs about the witches? How come all the stories are about the princesses? These questions and many more are what this book is all about!
I just can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this book! These princes Liam, Gustav, Fredrick, and Duncan are not quite what you’ve read before and neither are the princesses. I love the giants and the trolls and even the bad witch Zoberah (*sp audio)! These characters are so much fun and I am so excited to hear that there will be a second book. This one made me laugh out loud and smile it is just so much fun!
If you are looking for a great family vacation/roadtrip book I highly recommend this one!
If you haven’t it figured out yet I loved this book so just go get it and you will too!
"Get Into the Spirit"
In the same kind of spirit that infused The Princess Bride, this story of the actual young men behind the generic name Prince Charming is fun, funny, and unexpected. Bronson Pinchot's narration elevates this already wonderful ffractured fairy tale to the same genius level as Mandy Potenkin's Inego Montoya.
The tale not only includes the traditional witches, trolls, dwarves, etc. and action, danger, heroic deeds, etc., but clever humore with twists on all the familiar fairy tale elements. The princesses aren't all helpless maidens or even sweet and generous of spirit. The princes aren't all competent swordsmen or even temperamentally suited to the role of hero. But they all rise to the occasion and entertain heroically to the end.
As fun as the story is, Bronson Pinchot adds greatness with his accents, voices, and delivery. This performance makes it clear why he is a listener favorite.
I often found myself grinning or laughing out loud while listening. It's a story that requires the listner to go along with the premise, but it's so worth the ride.
"Wonderful Story and an amazing narrator!"
Wow. We stumbled upon this book by doing the "if you like this, you will like that" search and what a terrific find. Both my son and I enjoyed it immensely. The story is a hilarious exposé about what happened to the princes in some of the fairy tales we THINK we know so well.
Each Prince has very definite and very funny personality traits, which lead to troubles with their princesses. (Sleeping Beauty is not the demure, angelic girl we remember.) The story is engaging and the characters we meet along the way are all memorable.
Bronson Pinchot is an incredible narrator. He does spot on voices for all of the princes. (Duncan is particularly amusing.)
We loved this book and can't wait for the second one to come out!
(review written by 12 year old boy and 48 year old mom)
I thought the story would be more serious with epic battles and serious danger, so at first I was not finding the story engaging. However, when I realized that it was written more like "The Princess Bride" than "Conan the Barbarian," I found my self unexpectedly laughing out loud at some of the dialog. It does drag slightly, but I enjoyed it overall and couldn't wait to turn it back on when I got in the car.
"This is an outstanding recording!"
The whole family (diverse ages) laughed out loud throughout the story. I would renew my subscription with audible just get the sequel. I've never listened to an audiobook that I wanted to listen to again so soon after.
Superb accents. Brilliant comedic timing.
This is a silly story about who the four "prince charmings" from several fairy tales really are. My daughter was reading it, so I bought the audio book so we could listen to it in the car. I just have to say that Bronson Pinchot's performance is nothing short of miraculous. You must listen to this audio book just to hear what he does with the voices of these characters. We were cracking up the entire time - partially because the book is really funny, but mostly because of what Pinchot's characterizations added to the story. Probably one of the best readings I have ever heard!
"Entertainment for the whole family"
Hero's Guild to Saving your Kingdom was a book that my children LOVED, and my husband tolerated well as we travelled. I even caught him smiling and chuckling more often than he would dare to admit. There was plenty of clean humour that keeps parents entertained.
The characters all had such great personalities.
Our favorite scene was when the princes were imprisoned by the trolls.
The princes are not always so charming.
We have now nicknamed our children with the names of the princes. I think every family has a Gustav.
My 9 yr old son wouldn't turn it off! He loved it and is eagerly anticipating the next book with the Princes! "It's really funny and it's really good" is his review.
Bronson Pinchot has a wonderful "bag" of voices - he's a very talented guy.
Go for it!
"One of the best children's audiobooks"
While I don't usually relisten to audios, I would certainly listen to any additional ones in the series, or other books written by the authors or performed by this narrator. This was one of the best children's audios from the adult perspective, and my son loved it too. He listened to it pretty much at one sitting on a long plane trip.
No but I plan to look for them. I'm hoping he continues to record children's audios. His unusual facility with voices and accents, and with humor, make this one of the most lively audios I have encountered. With some audios I have a hard time staying focused if I am multitasking -- not this one!
My 11 year old and I are enjoying listening to books that concern fairy tales and the like, rewritten to tell the hidden story or otherwise subvert the usual narrative. There seem to be a lot in this genre right now and this is one of our favorites -- if not our favorite.
Highly recommended for parent-child listening or a family roadtrip. The narrator so amazingly captures all the different voices, and creates so much humor, that the driver would be sure to stay awake!
I would also recommend this one for adults who enjoying listening to quality children's audios.
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