Christopher Healy is back with The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, the second book in his fairy tale twisting series. Almost all the characters from the first book return, with a few evil additions. The author provides just enough of the back story to refresh the reader’s memory and although not essential, any new readers would probably want to pick up the first book before proceeding. Everything from the first book is present: abundant comedy, mix-ups, superb and complementary illustrations by Todd Harris, rollicking adventure, and fun. The camaraderie and loyalty of the princes (and the princesses) is particularly winning. There might be even more action than in the first book. Again, this book is an excellent read-aloud choice and would be enjoyed by both male and female readers. Oddly, in some ways, the ending to Storming the Castle was more satisfying than the end to Saving Your Kingdom. The ending definitely opens the path for the next book and the heroes are left in a bit of open-ended uncertainty and disarray. However, this leaves them set-up for future possibilities, instead of merely returning them to the same state they were at in the beginning of the book 2. Possibilities for characters are one of the most wonderful things in literature and I look forward to seeing this set of heroes capitalizing on them.
Violence/Gore: General references to past fights; minor injury while practicing with a sword; character is knocked unconscious and kidnapped; some knocking of heads, scuffling, punching, sword-fighting, arrow-shooting, chasing, throwing of items, knocking off of wall; a brawl in a tavern; characters thrown to some eels with implied death; a leg is broken in an accident; character thrown into wall with implied death. (Violence is non-detailed and told in comical style.)
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use:
A sleeping potion is administered to characters.