The Land of Stories
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Cover of the first book in the series
|Genre||Children's fiction, adventure and fantasy|
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|No. of books||6|
The Land of Stories is a series of children's fiction, adventure and fantasy books written by American author, actor and singer Chris Colfer. The first book, The Wishing Spell, was released on July 17, 2012. The sixth and final book is to be published in July 2017. The books are described by Colfer as a "modern day fairy tale", following twins Alex and Conner Bailey as they fall from the real world into a world full of fairy tales they have only ever read about before and discover there is more to this world than meets the eye.
The Wishing Spell
The first book in the series, The Wishing Spell was released on July 17, 2012.
A year has gone by since Alex and Conner Bailey suffered the tragic loss of their father. Their mother, who is trying to balance her job and her family after her husband's death, is unable to celebrate their twelfth birthday. Instead, the twins' Grandma comes to celebrate. She gives the twins a book of fairy tales they recognize from their childhood, titled "The Land of Stories". Alex keeps it in her room at night and soon discovers a buzzing noise coming from the book. It doesn't take the twins long to realize that the book of fairy tales is real and acts as a portal between both worlds. They meet numerous classic characters including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood (who's not so little anymore) and new characters including Froggy, Sir Lampton, The Huntress, and Trollbella. However great the twins find the fairy tale world, they realize they need to find a way back to their world. Froggy tells the twins of the Wishing Spell, where magical items are put together to grant one wish. The twins embark on the greatest adventure they've ever been on, traveling across just about every kingdom and encountering villains along the way. They follow the journal of a man who collected the items once before. The book reaches its climax when Alex, Conner, the Evil Queen, the Huntress, Goldilocks, Jack, Queen Red Riding Hood, and the Big Bad Wolf Pack (descendants of the Big Bad Wolf who agreed to kidnap the twins in exchange for Red) as well as Red's army, meet at a hidden palace in the Sleeping Kingdom. Goldilocks and the Huntress battle until Jack fires a cannonball at the Huntress and she is killed. This book also tells the story of Evly, The Evil Queen and her lover Mira. When she was little, she was a very kind and caring girl. Evly stole the Wishing Spell to free her lover Mira from the magic mirror, but he dies in her arms and they are both swallowed up by the mirror. Alex and Conner find themselves trapped in the fairy world, until they learn that their grandmother is the Fairy Godmother, who is capable of making portals between the Otherworld and the Fairy World, and the journal written by a man who had successfully completed the Wishing Spell years before when he fell in love with a woman on Earth belonged to their father. Therefore, Alex and Conner are part fairy. Alex and Conner get back to their mother through a portal made by their grandmother into the Otherworld in the end.
The Enchantress Returns
The Enchantress Returns is the second installment in the series and was published on August 6, 2013.
Alex heads home after attending school and finds her brother Conner, who is worried because their mother hasn't yet come home from work. He also found a romantic note to their mother from a surgeon she worked with named Dr. Bob. When Charlotte comes home, Alex and Conner ask if Charlotte really has a boyfriend. Their mother tells them that it's true. Later on, Bob goes to see the twins and tells them about his plan to propose to their mother. He shows them the ring, which has two large diamonds on it, one pink and the other blue. When Bob asks the twins for permission about the proposal, Conner and Alex decide that this would make both Bob and their mom happy, so they agree.
All three decided to surprise Charlotte with a special dinner at the Bailey house. Alex returns home as quickly as she could from a course she was taking at a community college, and Bob tells their officemates at the hospital to keep Charlotte busy so she won't come home early. The twins' mother, Charlotte, doesn't show up on time, but another nurse at the hospital says that she had left two hours ago. They then hear a mysterious knock at the door and a bunch of fairy tale soldiers barge in. Bob was originally doubtful, but later accepts that The Land of Stories is real. The twins' grandmother, the Fairy Godmother, enters and explains that their mother was kidnapped. While their grandmother attends to her own business, Mother Goose babysits the twins. Later, Alex gives Mother Goose champagne until she becomes drunk, and Alex asks her for information, which she unknowingly gives.
Alex discovers that her mother was captured by Ezmia, "the Enchantress," and that the Sleeping Kingdom was in ruin. Since she couldn't get to the Land of Stories through the book, she sneaks out of the house and goes to her Grandmother's house, hoping to find a way to the Land of Stories. The next day, she almost falls off of a bridge. Unexpectedly, Conner saves her, and admits that he had followed her. They eventually go to their grandmother's house, which had a glowing painting in it. Alex knows that this is a portal to the other world. Suddenly, Alex and Conner find themselves in The Land of Stories. They eventually find Froggy, who is still in frog form as a disguise. All three travel to the Red Riding Hood Kingdom, where the Enchantress seemed to be destroying symbolic historic sights. Alex and Conner then attend a meeting only for the kings and queens by persuading Red to wear a dress that they could hide under. At the meeting, the Enchantress captures Alex and Conner's grandmother, revealing that she had captured 'Alex', but instead got Charlotte, their mother, who pretended to be Alex. At Red's castle, Conner learns of something called the Wand of Wonderment, which makes the holder invincible. To create it, one must find the six most valuable things of the six most hated people in the world. To help find all the items, Red asks the villagers to all pitch in to make a flying ship out of all her baskets.
When the ship is completed, Alex, Conner, Red, Froggy, Goldilocks, and Jack fly the ship across The Land of Stories. They obtain the ice scepter of the Snow Queen, the wedding ring of Cinderella's stepmother, the giant's harp, the glass from the Evil Queen's mirror, and the jewels of the Sea Witch. However, they are unclear on what the Enchantress's most prized possession is. After landing in the Troll and Goblin territory, they discover that Trollbella is now queen, and that Bob traveled to the Land of Stories as well. They meet the ghost of Hagatha in the Sleeping Kingdom, who explains that the Enchantress' most prized possession is her pride.
The Enchantress uses her vines to drag Conner, Red, Froggy, Goldilocks, and Jack to the coliseum. Alex tries to defeat the Enchantress by subtly stealing her pride, but she is blasted off of the coliseum. Because she was holding the Wand of Wonderment, she is saved. However, when she reaches the ground, she faints. Alex then has a dream that she was talking to Alice from Wonderland, Lucy from Narnia, Dorothy from Oz, and Wendy from Neverland, who advises her on the situation. Alex wakes up and goes back up the coliseum using a flying horse. When she arrives, she drops the Wand in front of The Enchantress. The Enchantress tries to kill Alex with the Wand after Alex stripsped her of her powers (until Ezmia got hold of the Wand of Wonderment) but Rumpelstiltskin jumps in front of the blast to save Alex out of guilt for what he has tried to do for Ezmia. Conner destroys the Wand, so all the magic is taken from her body and she dies.
After that, Bob finally proposes to Charlotte and they get married in Cinderella's castle. When it is time to leave, Alex claims that she is meant to stay in the Land of Stories, and that Conner should share their stories in the real world. The twins then believe that they were to be separated forever after the fairies decided to seal all portals leading to and from The Land of Stories. Later, Conner fetches Cinderella's step mother and step sisters to go back to his world, Conner also shares their stories in the real world.
A Grimm Warning
A Grimm Warning is the third installment in the series and was published on July 18, 2014.
In the beginning of the third book, Alex is in the Land of Stories training to be the next fairy godmother and is preparing for her coronation as Fairy Godmother. Meanwhile, Conner is at school in the real world and is questioned about where his sister is. Conner goes on a school trip to Germany to hear stories by the Brothers Grimm that was recently found in a time capsule. The good news for Conner is that the girl he has a crush on (Bree Campbell) is going. The bad news is that four annoying girls called the book huggers are also going.
As for Alex, she keeps messing up casting her spells. She eventually meets a farm boy named Rook Robins, who she starts falling for. She becomes very torn later in the story because her grandmother is dying and she feels like she is killing her. The fairy godmother is dying because she finally found a replacement and now the fairy god mother can rest knowing the fairy tale world rests in good hands.
Conner finds out that one of the stories is actually a secret message and a warning for the Land of Stories. He sets out across Germany to crack a 200-year code. With the help of Bree and the directions of Mother Goose, Conner eventually meets Emmerich Himmelsback, a little boy from a small village.
Then, Alex and Conner realized an army from their world, the world of regular people, was coming to the Fairy Tale world. The army was led by the Masked Man, who they presume is their father. When some villagers got attacked by the Grande Armée, Rook (Alex's crush), informs the army of where Alex and the kings and queens were to free his father.
Alex's grandmother, the fairy godmother, eventually defeats the twins' presumed father's dragon with her fairy magic and dies. Alex is disgusted with Rook, figuring out he was the person who leaked out information and dumps him.
Beyond the Kingdoms
Beyond the Kingdoms is the fourth installment in the series and was published on July 7, 2015.
The book begins with the Bailey twins chasing the Masked Man, who appears to be their late father. Alex was going through mood swings, in which her hair would float above her head and her eyes would glow. She also would get affected by her emotions greatly, in which she would attack many people. Alex then was 'un-godmothered' and kicked out of the fairy council for insisting that the Masked Man should be one of their high priorities. Alex loses control of her magic, shooting at the fairy council with lightning and vanishing. She arrived at the Giant's castle which Mother Goose was staying in.
Later on, at Red and Froggy's wedding, Morina the beauty witch arrives and claims to be Froggy's first lover (and the one who cursed him to live as a frog). She also threatens to harm Red if he doesn't leave with her. Froggy chose to leave, as Morina is a very powerful entity. Meanwhile, Conner gets beaten up by the Masked Man in the library as he attempts to steal books. Conner ripped off his mask, so everyone else can be convinced that he is their father. That night, Alex wishes to speak with her late grandmother, who sends an angelic moth of memories from the stars to tell Alex the true story of the masked man: he's their uncle Lloyd.
Conner's old friend Trix the fairy had stolen a book from his grandmother's possession. Apparently, what Lloyd attempted to steal was a Portal Potion, which could transport anyone into any book created. The ingredients to the potion contain a branch from the oldest tree in the woods, a feather from the finest bird in the sky, a lock and key from a lover, two weeks of moonlight and a splash of magic. Alex then confronted that the Masked Man was their uncle and not their father. Conner said she was crazy. But Mother Goose said that it was true and it was their grandmother's death wish for her to not tell. The group then have to travel into the literature stories and stop their uncle before he recruits an army of literary villains.
Alex and Conner are trapped in separate worlds by Lloyd and his armies. Alex is trapped in the world of King Arthur and Conner is in the land of Robin Hood. After they meet up in the land of Oz, they realize Lloyd has sent armies to destroy the kingdoms. They later realize they need to go home for supplies. They leave to the Otherworld on a cliffhanger - they aren't going into any published stories. They're going into Conner's.
An Author's Odyssey
An Author's Odyssey is the fifth installment in the series and was published on July 12, 2016.
When the twins and their friends enter worlds crafted from Conner's imagination, finding allies no one else could have ever dreamed of, and also recovering many memories they had made in the fairy-tale world, the race begins to put an end to the Masked Man's reign of terror. Conner and Alex spend moments in Conner's short stories ranging from battling pirates to racing in an ancient pyramid filled with a thousand zombie mummies with the story's main protagonist. Conner had to go with his mother, Charlotte Bailey, in one of those adventures. In the meantime, the Sea Witch and the Snow Queen along with the witches at Dead Man's Creek had other plans. The Snow Queen and the Sea Witch planned a handful of dust made from a magic mirror created by demons on Alex whereas only one piece of the dust turned the enchantress into what she became.
The sixth and final book in the series, titled Worlds Collide, is scheduled for release on July 11, 2017.
Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters--heroes and villains--are no longer confined within their world. With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet.
Colfer recorded his audio book using his own voice. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell has been translated into several languages, including Russian, Italian, French, Hebrew, Greek, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese and Dutch.
- Alex Bailey is a smart, curious girl, described as having bright blue eyes and short, strawberry-blond hair with a headband always in it. She is very studious, and pays close attention to every class, getting full marks. She is also considered the teacher's pet. She is a twin to Conner Bailey.
- Conner Bailey is a boy looking very much like his twin sister, who sleeps all day, even in class, and is a slacker. He's very social, however, but feels like he is constantly overshadowed by his brainy sister. He holds a deep hatred against his teacher, Mrs. Peters. He is a writer and in book 5 travels into his short stories. He is a twin to Alex Bailey.
- Froggy is a large, slightly humanoid frog. Formerly Prince Charlie Charming, a curse was placed upon him for being too vain. He is very wise and gives the twins advice and help throughout. He is embarrassed of being a frog, and lives in a sort of house-hole in the dwarf forests. In Beyond the Kingdoms he is imprisoned in a magic mirror protecting Red.
- Red Riding Hood is a girl in a fairy tale series. But, she is older now. She's a little bit selfish, loves her gigantic outfits but since she has her own kingdom, she's very smart and good with her people. Her lover is Froggy but turns her away in the 4th book to protect her. Red doesn't like gross stuff, since she's a lady. Rude Little Bo Peep took over her throne in the A Grimm Warning but she got her throne back.
- Jack is now a grown man with the other Fairy Tale characters, who grew a very famous beanstalk when he was younger. He gets married to Goldilocks in the third book, in the fifth book they have a child and name him Hero.
- Goldilocks is a criminal, raiding kingdoms, who got given her first sword to fight with by Hagetta, a kind witch who lives in the dwarf forests. She gets married to Jack in the third book. in the fourth book, she is going to be a mother. In the fifth book she gives birth to a baby boy and names him Hero.
- Fairy Godmother is Alex and Conner's grandmother and leads the fairy council through bad times and also is the only one who can create a portal between the fairy-tale world and the other world. She dies in A Grimm Warning.
- Mother Goose is able to travel between worlds (with the Fairy Godmother) and reads nursery rhymes around the world to children. She is part of the Fairy Council. She is first mentioned in The Wishing Spell, and appears in The Enchantress Returns, A Grimm Warning and Beyond the Kingdoms. She "retires" and joins Merlin in his story in Beyond the Kingdoms. She likes to gamble and travel with her pet goose, Lester.
- Bree Campbell is an intelligent and determined girl. She was first introduced in A Grimm Warning as a classmate of Conner Bailey. She is a horror writer and is described to be beautiful and has blonde hair with a streak of pink and blue and always is wearing a purple beanie and an earbud in one ear. It is revealed that Conner actually has a huge crush on Bree and at the end of A Grimm Warning, Bree reveals that she has a crush on him too. She also becomes close friends with Emmerich.
- Emmerich Himmelsbach is a boy from Hohenschwangau, Germany, and approximately ten years old. He first appears in A Grimm Warning. He helps Conner and Bree get into Neuschwanstein castle and ends up joining Conner on his adventure to save the Land of Stories. In Beyond the Kingdoms, he turns out to be son of Bo Peep and Lloyd Bailey, the Masked Man.
- Auburn Sally A pirate who sails with her crew aboard their ship the Dolly Llama. Conner barely manages to convince her to be part of his army. They are forced to battle Smoky Sails Sam when he attacks them. Auburn Sally appears in the 5th book.
- Evly, The Evil Queen is Snow White's stepmother. The whole Fairy tale world thought she was vain and power obsessed, but she really only wanted to free her lover, Mira, from her magic mirror. Mira had been put in the magic mirror by Ezmia, The Enchantress.
- Ezmia, The Enchantress was cursed by the witches to hate everyone and tried to destroy the world. This same curse was placed on Alex Bailey in the 5th book.
- The Snow Queen is a weather witch who, a long time ago, secretly plotted against the king of the Northern Kingdom, whom she had befriended by granting him wishes and making prophecies. She overthrew the king and covered the kingdom in an everlasting winter. She was eventually overthrown by Wise Prince White and banished to the Northern Mountains, where she lives in an icy lair with her polar bears.
- Morina is an evil witch that cursed Froggy to look like a frog. Morina looks like a beautiful lady but she has ram's horns on her head.
- The Masked Man is the main villain in books 3, 4 and 5. In book 4, it is revealed that the Masked Man is Alex and Conner's uncle. In book 5 Emmerich is revealed to him as his son, and Little Bo Peep as his wife. His plot is to overthrow the Kingdoms and take over the world.
- Smoky Sails Sam is a pirate in book 5 who wants to kill Auburn Sally because of what she stole from him.
- General Marquis is a general of the Grand Armée who wants to take over the fairy tale world.
- Captain Hook is a pirate in book 5 and book 4 who wants to kill Peter Pan
- The book was on the New York Times Bestseller List for five weeks, and reached No. 1 for two of the five.
- The Onion's The A.V. Club gave the book a B
- The book was named one of Barnes & Noble's "Best Books of 2012"
- "Chris Colfer on The Land of Stories and wishing his characters could meet Harry Potter". Entertainment Weekly. July 12, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell: Chris Colfer: 9780316201575: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Barrett, Annie (2013-04-01). "'Glee' star Chris Colfer reveals title, date, and cover of second 'Land of Stories' book - EXCLUSIVE | Shelf Life | EW.com". Shelf-life.ew.com. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- D'Amico, Jordan (2015-04-11). "Chris Colfer Reveals The Cover & Title For His Fourth "Land Of Stories" Book". RecentlyHeard.com. Retrieved 2015-04-11.
- "Chris Colfer on The Land of Stories and wishing his characters could meet Harry Potter". Entertainment Weekly. July 12, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Robinson, Tasha (2012-09-03). "Chris Colfer: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "Best Books of 2012 | Barnes & Noble". Barnesandnoble.com. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-15.