Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. 

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

In the midst of the maze of books calling out to me as I browsed through my local Barnes and Noble, one book shone like a beacon on a pedestal in the young readers section of the store, and I beelined to it. Low and behold, here it was. A book about two kids who go into the fairy tale world. Obviously, I needed to read it. So, glancing around and making sure no one was witnessing me nearly crying tears of joy in the children's section, I snagged the book and quickly bought it. After finishing it and loving every word, I snatched up the second one--The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns--and am currently reading that now. 

The Wishing Spell spends a bit of time in the beginning developing the characters, which is always a good thing because I am a stickler for character development. If I don't connect with the main characters, I don't like the book. Luckily, The Wishing Spell was chock full of it. Each character had a distinct personality, and the author, Chris Colfer, even included new personality traits for the all-too-familiar fairy tale characters, giving this story a brand-new spin.

The first installment of The Land of Stories series focuses on the twins' journey home from the fairy tale world. After encountering an oversized frog who Conner quickly names "Froggy", they learn that the only way back to their world is through the Wishing Spell, which involves a surplus of memorable fairy-tale items that need to be collected, including Cinderella's glass slipper, the spindle of Sleeping Beauty's spinning wheel, a piece of basket from Red Riding Hook, a lock of hair from Rapunzel...the list goes on. Fortunately for them, someone has already attempted the Wishing Spell and has recorded their steps in a journal that Froggy collected. So the twins set out on a journey of a lifetime.

Another reason I loved this book was because of the added fairy tale elements. It goes into the mysterious back story of the Evil Queen, and divulges new information that will keep the reader on their toes. 

The writing style is irresistibly innocent and simplistic, in a way that captures the curiosity and novelty of childhood. With likable twins as main characters and encounters with all the fairy tale characters we grew up reading about, plus a mysterious family secret, what more could a devoted fairy tale fan such as myself ask for? 

I can only hope that The Enchantress Returns lives up to the first novel! (And I'm sure it will). Please give this book a try. It is like the golden-spun version of the TV series Once Upon a Time. (Which I love, by the way. Did anyone see season 2? I died after the cliffhanger. How could they do that to us?? I need season 3 NOW!!!!)

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