The princes Charming reunite for another slapstick, kingdom-saving quest.
Prince Liam successfully avoided Sleeping Beauty during The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (2012), but now Briar Rose has kidnapped him. Prince Frederic reconvenes the League of Princes (who weren’t doing anything important anyway) to rescue Liam and break up his royal wedding. Before they can rescue him though, Liam discovers the dark truth behind his first heroic act, causing a crisis of faith and shaking his identity. Additionally, Liam finds evidence that Briar has ambitions even more evil than forcing him to marry her. When the League’s rescue attempt goes terribly and hilariously awry, Briar gains the upper hand and manipulates the princes into working for her. She tasks them with recovering a critical artifact from the 11-year-old Bandit King and his new, nigh-impenetrable castle, which also happens to be hosting a brutal warlord as a guest. On top of that, they have to find a way to double-cross Briar and thwart her plots. For their elaborate plan, the princes must recruit old friends and new ones, forming a ragtag band of varying competence levels. While the wacky comedy and witty wordplay is broken up by emotional growth and romantic story arcs, laughter takes precedence. The ending teases readers with hints of the next installment.
Funny and full of heart. (Fantasy. 8 & up)