In this edition of The Figment Review, Figment user Milan Liu reviews Chris Colfer’s new book, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. It’s the story of two twins who fall into a fairy tale and their adventures getting home again.
C.S. Lewis once said, “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” This is the quote that begins Chris Colfer’s first novel, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. The book is comparable to a giant spider web, spun of all the fairy tale stories that children are told when they’re young. Though the book is written for younger audiences, I’ve found it’s one of those books that can really be enjoyed by a person with more experiences and wisdom than a ten year old.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell tells the tale of Alex and Connor, a pair of twins who are as different as different can be. Alex is smart and logical, your typical nerdy/teacher’s pet/bookworm. Connor, on the other hand, is the slacker who falls asleep in class and isn’t gifted with study skills, but instead with a sense of humor. Alex and Connor’s grandmother comes to visit them for their birthday, and as a present she gives them a book titled The Land of Stories. Strange things happen around the book, golden glows and vibrations that make no sense to the twins. Finally, in chapter four, Alex informs Connor that in “my most educated analysis, with all means of science and technology in mind, is that it’s magic.”
Alex and Connor end up falling into their Grandmother’s old book of fairy tales (literally.) The Land of Stories is a land comprised of several kingdoms filled with Queens, King Charmings, trolls, goblins, fairies, and all the other mythical creatures you can think of that exist in fairy tales. The twins have no idea how to get back home to their mother, until they hear the legend of the wishing spell. The wishing spell is a spell that grants its caster any wish, no matter how grandiose it is. However, to cast the spell, the twins must first find a selection of special objects. These objects, things like Cinderella’s slipper and Sleeping Beauty’s spindle, are located all over the land. Alex and Connor must travel through dangerous forests and beautiful mountains to find these objects before it’s too late and their wish is granted to someone else.
Perhaps it was that I missed fairy tales, or that I love when stories are broken up and put back together to make something new, but either way, I thoroughly enjoyed The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. I loved the way Colfer reinvented tales from my childhood and the way each character was carefully written. I loved the plot twists, both big and small, with the exception of the occasional overly cliché turn of events. The little things often made me smile, frown, and burst into giggles.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell is a book written for younger audiences that can easily be read by older people. It’s a book you can dive into and a story that will live in your imagination forever.
Milan L. is an aspiring writer who loves horses, books, and anything else involving animals. She’s known on Figment as “Milan Liu,” to her parents and sister as “Milan,” and to her beloved cat as a chew toy. She lives in a university town and enjoys spending time with friends and horses, reading, and making jewelry out of paperclips.