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THE HERO'S GUIDE TO BEING AN OUTLAW by Christopher  Healy Kirkus Star


From the Hero's Guides series, volume 3

by Christopher Healy ; illustrated by Todd Harris

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: April 29th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-211848-6
Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

The members of the League of Princes, good-hearted if only semicompetent heroes, are dubbed outlaws when accused of murder most foul!

Strange things are afoot in the Thirteen Kingdoms, none stranger than the wanted posters proclaiming that the League of Princes murdered sometimes-antagonist Princess Briar Rose. The reward for their capture, literally “untold riches,” sets bounty hunters after them, and Gustav, Frederic and Rapunzel are captured. In a wacky sequence of mistakes and flukes, two sets of rescuers—Duncan and Snow, and Ella and Liam—fall in and out of the bounty hunters’ clutches until the princesses are trapped beyond rescue, and the brave princes run away. Their stories diverge, as the princes have swashbuckling adventures that ultimately strand them on an island. Meanwhile, the princesses spend quality time in jail alongside bread thief Val Jeanval, until their imminent executions necessitate a jailbreak. While initially portrayed as more competent than their princes, the princesses soon reveal themselves as just as hilariously dysfunctional. Throughout the heroes’ and heroines’ travels, the antiprince conspiracy is revealed in each kingdom—it’s directly related to loose ends from The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle (2013). Side characters make comedic final appearances, and a surprise villain team-up provides closure to the trilogy.

Part screwball comedy, part sly wit and all fun. (Fantasy. 8 & up)