Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw

by Christopher Healy

Story summary: The League of Princes is on the run, since all the bards in the kingdom have made up songs about how nasty they were for killing Princess Briar (which they didn't), and the citizens of this part of the world are really into bards. "Giant mongooses will be battled, brain-melting beetles will be run from, dozens of feathers will be plucked, and perhaps, kingdoms will finally be saved, now and forever." (quote from the Goodreads summary)
Sequel to A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and A Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle.

Why You Should Read This:
  • It's really, really funny.
  • The illustrations are awesome.
  • It has a lovely, light storyline, with battles and romance and friendships and pirates.
  • Did I mention the pirates? And the captain is awesome.
  • There's someone with an absolutely hysterical name. I laughed out loud when I read it, but mostly it was due to the surprise of finding it, so I won't tell you.
  • You will meet the "ffff"! Not going to spoil that one either.

And Why You Shouldn't:
  • It's a little bit too long, especially for a Middle Grade novel.
  • There are still some loose ends, despite being the last in the trilogy, as far as I know.

Illustration (c) Todd Harris, from pg.122 of the hardcover version. Isn't it nice? There are even better ones inside.
Thoughts: Much better than the previous instalment. In A Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, I ended up getting bored half way through, all the way until near the end. It was still funny, just bloated. But this one pretty much held my interest and made me laugh all the way through. I still think it could use a little trimming, but all in all a very satisfying read.

And the illustrations! Ah, I loved them. I kept on being tempted to skip to the next drawing, but I made myself wait.

Random notes time:
--I still have a soft spot for Gustav, and I was happy to see him happier by the end of this one. Even though his brothers are still jerks.
--Also like that each book seems to begin and end with Frederic. It gives it a nice overall consistency.
--Prince Liam was much funnier in this one, due to his rivalry with Ella. I approved.
--Duncan is also really funny, although he can get used a little much, I find.
--The part with the genie was pretty much the funniest thing ever. HOW did they mess that up so badly...
--I wanted to read more about Lila being apprenticed as a bounty hunter. Training montages, people! Why aren't there more of them?

Grade: 3 stars

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