By Christopher Healy
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.
This is one of those satirical books that was pretty fun to read, though you need to be in a certain mood to really enjoy it. I admit, it took me a while to get into this book, but I was determined to finish it because my friend said that she and her husband read it out loud and couldn’t stop laughing. This would’ve been a great read-out-loud book. It’s about four princes, who are each known as their kingdom’s “Prince Charming”. Liam is a hero who is the darling of his kingdom, until he meets sleeping beauty, Frederic has never been outside of his own castle and fell for adventurous and sheltered Cinderella, Duncan luckily stumbled across Snow White, a hermit, in the woods, and Gustav is known for being rescued by Rapunzel, who healed his blindness with her tears. The princes band together to save their reputations and find out if they really are hero material. What ensues is a hilarious satire of fairy-tale stories and all the stereotypes that happen. It’s clever and well done, kids love reading about these unlikely Prince Charmings, and adults laugh at the way the story pokes fun at the genre. Again I had a hard time getting into the story, it was a little too dumbed down for me, geared for children and not adults. Some books can easily bridge the gap, but this one fell a little flat for me.
I give it a 3 out of 5