Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy + Giveaway (US)

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Walden Pond Press 
Pages: 516
Received: ARC from publisher
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf

Crossing my fingers

After being burned by so many disappointing series enders, I was starting to fear even Christopher Healy would let me down. Thankfully, The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw delivered and I got (almost) everything I wanted.

I read a little bit each night, trying to spread it out over the longest possible amount of time. But that didn't work very well. Mostly I just went to sleep later than I intended each night. But happy, because this book is a downright joy to read. 

For those who haven't started the series yet

You have no more excuses. The final book is out, it's fantastic, and the entire series is well worth reading. Also, you need to read these books in order.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Humor! Nearly every sentence is funny. Seriously.
  • Memorable characters. Not just the main characters, or even the secondary characters. EVERYONE. If someone is present, they're memorable.
  • Conversations with fellow readers that go something like, "And that scene?! Gah, too funny!" "But wait, that OTHER scene! Even better!" "And what about when they..."
  • Don't even try to engage in a "Who is your favorite character" conversation unless you have a few days to spare, comfortable seating arrangements, and snacks. This could take a while.
  • Totally fractured fairy tales
  • Sweet romances
  • Disaster, mayhem, and unexpected consequences
  • Adventure
  • Non-stop action. Sure they're long books, but they're easy to fly through. Also, there's pictures. 
  • Camaraderie and relationships that are totally aw-inducing
  • Grudges, feuds, magical objects, and tongue twisters
  • Puns
Also, there's my reviews for The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (book 1) and The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle (book 2). 

For those who have started the series

Here's what you can expect: 

  • A resolution to the romance questions (I'm almost 100% on board. There is one romantic pair I wish was handled differently)
  • Appearances made by every single character ever from the previous books
  • New characters, including a genie (wishes!!) and a cadre of colorful bounty hunters
  • Pirates and high seas adventuring (also, marooning)
  • A questionably-stylish hat
  • Quests, chases, escapades, and escapes
  • Coup d'etats, battle, torture, and rousing speeches in every kingdom
  • Bards
Bottom line


  • Christopher Healy is an auto-buy author and his books are a must-have staple in any library
  • I need to find a way to bribe, convince, cajole or otherwise make him write more books in this series because I'm so not ready for this to be over
  • I don't even have words to explain how much I loved the end of the Stumpy Boarhound scene. And the bard scene. And the...
  • Franchise this. I'm talking movies, action figures, sticker books, theme parks. Let's make it happen.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Info for the giveaway:
  • What you can win: An autographed (!) hardcover of The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy
  • As always, you do NOT have to be a follower
  • This giveaway is US only
  • You must be 13 years of age or older
  • One entry per person
  • I will contact the winner through email and the winner will have 24 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen 
  • This giveaway closes on June 14th  

Do you have any questions about The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw that I haven't addressed?
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Looking for another book like this?
You might like:

 Click on the pictures to go to my reviews.


  1. It's great to hear that the last book in this series is out, I'm always a bit hesitant starting a series that I will have to wait long for to finish. Hope that my library has these (: Great review Small!

    1. I feel the same way about series! A lot of times I just wait until they've all been published before I start reading, but then I hate having to wait so long. It's a no win! But now you get this series and don't have to wait. I really hope your library has copies :)

  2. You're forgetting the most important part of this series: Papa Scoots/Papa Scoots Jr!

    Really though, I'm SO. GLAD. you're satisfied with this ending. My feelings echoed yours on the Ascendance Trilogy, so I was slightly worried this one would suffer the same fate and put off reading it. :) Now I clearly need to go grab a copy - though I'm not at all looking forward to this wonderful series being over. I love these characters way too much!

    1. Papa Scoots/Jr! He makes an appearance, too :)

      Oh my gosh, I think you'll love it. It's just as strong as the other books in the series. I can't believe it's over though! I miss them already (and I'm already hoping for spinoffs. Hey, it could happen!)

  3. This has been one of my favorite series and I too hate to see it end. If you get the chance listen to the audiobooks. Bronson Pinchot does an amazing job giving each of the character's their individual voices. I drove 3 hours (one way) to a book signing to get Saving the Kingdom and Storming the Castle signed. I need a SIGNED copy of Becoming an Outlaw to complete the set! Did you hear that Christopher is working on a new series and a stand alone book?

    1. Oh my gosh, I LOVE the audio books!! I listened to the first book on audio after having read it and he did a fabulous job with all the voices. It's probably my top favorite audiobook ever. At the time it was announced that there would not be an audio version for the sequels, so I'm so excited that now there are!

      I did hear he's working on a new series, bt I hadn't heard about the standalone. Awesome! I can't wait for them to come out.

  4. Whoohoo!! How fun! Thanks Small :) <3

  5. Wow this series sounds wonderful. I need to add it to the TBR!

    1. It's a fantastic series. I really can't rave about it enough. I hope you enjoy it!

  6. YAY! I, too, have been on a horrible series ending streak this year. It's so sad! I will definitely pick this and book 2 up very soon.

    1. I saw you've been sharing my bad streak :( Thankfully this book does not fall into that category. I hope you get to read book two and this one soon. They're both really great.

  7. No excuses indeed! I do like the sound of this series! I mean, non-stop action! Hello? Loving that!

  8. What was the one pairing you wish was handled better? I dies of curiosity!!!!
    I really liked the book, and I do have favorite characters: Duncan and Frederick are my favorite Princes, and Snow my favorite lady - with Briar a close second, actually and I wished there had been more of her.

    Lila is awesome as always and Ruffian? I cried, Smallsie! I CRIED!!!

    Loved reading this series and I've ben pimping it like crazy.

  9. I have the first book, I guess I really need to read it huh? I got it for Christmas from my sister.

  10. MUST find this series! I think my library has some of them.

  11. I bought the first book, but haven't read it. So I'm totally one of those "You have no more excuses" people. Glad I have something so wonderful to look forward to! Packing this to take with me to the beach today! :)

    Lauren @ Wordy Hughes


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