For those of you who do not know, the Author Chris Colfer is an actor/singer/writer that first appeared on Fox’s musical-comedy Glee. Since then he has gone to star in movies and publish several books. The first book being “The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell” in a middle grade series. Coming off the success that was Glee, there was no surprise that this book sold very well.
That being said, fairy tales are a great source of joy for many who have the chance to experience them. It is because of the joy, that it can sometimes be a hit or miss when putting a retelling or a work like “The Land of Stories” out into the world. You never know how the public is going to feel about your take on the classics. In the age of the cash grab that is ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” and every other fairy-tale-esque story, one must tread carefully.
This story follows two twins (what is it with me and stories about twins?), Alex and Conner Bailey. The two find their way to the magical Land of Stories through the book of fairy tales their grandmother gave to them on her last visit. As you may have already guessed this world is where fairy tales exists outside of their respective books. The two go on a fantastical adventure to collect items they need for a spell to return them home. Along the way you meet several iconic fairy tale characters and some interesting creatures, this all leads up to a big reveal at the end as to how they got to the Land of Stories. (If you really want to know what that big reveal is let me know in the comments.)
This is a warning for any of those people who do not like spoilers stop now.
The twins like any pair of siblings in literature, go through a rough patch while on this adventure and of course, make up, but for the most part they fall flat when it comes to carrying the story forward. My biggest gripe with this story is the Wishing spell itself. It requires 8 items for the spell to work. It isn’t the hair of a dog, eye of newt, or the blood of a bat. It is iconic fairy tale items, such as: Cinderella’s glass slipper, part of Little Red Riding Hood’s Basket, The Needle that put Aurora to sleep, a crown, a sword, Rapunzel’s hair, a jewel from Snow White’s Coffin, and tears from a fairy. For me this was just a whole lot of what the hell? I get it, its magic it can do whatever the hell it wants I just feel like it is just odd items to have. Anyway, like most watered down fairy tales, it all has a happy ending and I was just not into the happiness of it all. Maybe I was looking for more drama and it was not giving me that. Mind you, I was reading a middle-grade-ish book so what was I expecting?
If you are into fairy tales and seeing them in a new spin this is a good book for you. Most definitely this is a good book for a younger audience. Let me know what you think of the book if you have read it. If you have not read it, do you think you are going to?