Review: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy (UK edition)

Title: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle (The Hero’s Guide 2)
Author: Christopher Healy
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher: Harper Collins (4th July 2013)
Blurb:

The League of Princes are out to prove themselves true heroes, and stop their kingdoms from falling into the wrong hands.

Magical swords, man-eating eels, evil warlords?

All in a day’s work.

And it’s going to be a looooong day . . .

Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:

THE HERO’S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE by Christopher Healy is the second book in the series. Things have gone downhill for our heroes (princes Liam, Frederic, Gustav, and Duncan) with the Bandit King getting his revenge, but the princes soon find themselves involved in another adventure.

After reading and loving THE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM (review), I was really looking forward to diving into this book. Unfortunately, THE HERO’S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE left me disappointed. For me it lacked the fun and play of the first book, and at times it felt more like the author was laughing at the characters, rather than with them.

When the book starts it takes a while to get into the main plot – which is a quest that the princes find themselves on. Before then we get to see a bit of the princes’ lives at home. Healy used this opportunity to reveal some things about the princes that served to explain their behaviour – and I also think, may be used in future books as plot points. Once the story reached the main plot, it was very reminiscent of the previous book – it was like (mostly) organised chaos.

I’m not really sure if this book adds anything to the series, or if I just feel that way because I found the book quite boring, as Healy added nothing new to the mix really. I can see it as a way of building a foundation for books later in the series – it certainly has the potential to do that, as there are a LOT of plot threads which Healy could take-up – but that does little to endear me to this particular book.

There were moments within the story that I enjoyed – moments which showed the spark of the previous book. I particularly enjoyed Prince Liam’s reaction to his sister suddenly making an appearance to help. In fact, I really quite liked Prince Liam’s sister – Lila was a really awesome, kick-ass character; she knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to do what she needs to to reach her goal.

If you have read and enjoyed THE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM then you will probably enjoy your return to the world, especially if you are closer to the intended age range of this book than I am. Although I did not enjoy this book, I think Healy has a lot of potential to explore within this world and series.

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