So first a look at what the book is about. This is the last in the
trilogy The League of Princes, which is a middle grade series about the Princes
Charming from Cinderella (Frederic), Sleeping Beauty (Liam), Snow White
(Duncan) and Rapunzel (Gustav). They get annoyed with the girls in the stories
getting all of the attention when they did the work. In this book they are the
prime suspects for the murder of Briar Rose and they need to clear their name.
At the same time there’s a Darian war lord taking over the Thirteen kingdoms
and the princes are being chased by Bounty Hunters.
It’s such a great conclusion to the story. I feel like everything was
wrapped up and finished and that all the questions are answered. Threads are
picked up and tied off.
I loved it. I thought all the princes had magnificent growth, but most
of all Gustav I think. Frederic has sort of been growing through the whole
series, he’s always been evolving and becoming a grownup. He is also very clear
on who he is, which I think is a huge part of growing up. But Gustav, who has
always been the run first, ask no questions, and admit to nothing, grows quite
a bit, which I loved. Duncan also grows to an extent, but he’s too odd to
become a perfect king, but he is lovely. Liam also tries, and he does sort of
become a bigger, cleverer person, who has the ability to not always try to be
the hero. There’s a horrible sentence, I’m sticking with it.
It’s fun to see how they continually get into trouble, no matter how
long they’ve been doing this. And also how incapable they are of getting
themselves out of trouble. Which is fun. The scene with the Djinn was great,
and an amazing moment for Gustav.
I love the jokes. A lot of the jokes work on a lot of levels. When I was
in school to become a librarian, I know, I’m the most badass person on the
planet, we had some classes on children’s literature. And we talked about this,
how some authors have the ability to make books work for both kids and adults,
which is cool. And Healy has that. It’s understandable for kids why it’s funny,
but there are jokes with levels and nuances that adults will find funny as
well. It’s like a Disney movie. I also love the jokes meant for kids obviously,
The illustrations are amazing. I think Todd Harris is an amazing
illustrator, and the captions are really great.
The new characters are great. Val, and Jerica, they’re really cool, and
I like that he has a wide array of characters. In fairytales the girls are
usually pretty and the men are handsome and strong. In this series the
princesses are pretty (Briar and Ella), and odd (Snow), kind (Rapunzel),
cunning, rude (Briar), and brave (all of them). But you also have Val, who is a
prisoner the princesses and Lila run into. She’s about seven feet tall and
built like a house, and she’s awesome. Jerica is smart, cunning and runs her
own ship as a captain, and she is very cool and laid back. I like that his
characters aren’t just one thing, they all have differing personalities and
aren’t just stock characters.
I also like that while it has a sort of happy ending it isn’t
necessarily the end, and that the books sort of rebel against the idea of happy
endings, because it seems so unlikely. I think Frederic and Ella is a good
example. Ella is Cinderella and Frederic is her Prince. He basically met her at
a dance and thought she was pretty so he saved her, sorta, and they’d be
happily married, right? They have nothing in common, and they want completely
different things, and while they care about each other they would be a horrible
couple. I like that it shows that you don’t have to do what people expect, you
can find what makes you happy.
I really loved it. I thought it was possibly wrapped up a little too
quickly, but it’s a kid’s book, it’s not supposed to be about huge battles and
everyone dying horribly in the war. So I think it’s probably fine. I loved it.
If you like middle grade books and you like fairytales this is an
awesome take on them and they are hilarious.