Monday, July 9, 2012

The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer (fiction) - traveling fairy tale roads in search of a way home

book cover of Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer published by Little Brown
Jack and the Beanstalk.
The Walking Fish?
Perhaps we haven't read all the world's fairy tales yet!

A family love of books may very well be the key to escaping from the Land of Stories for a brother and sister who are still mourning their father's death.

They'll also find out what happened "happily ever after" to Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and other famous fairy tale subjects when they grew up!

When I picked up The Wishing Spell,  my first thought was "hey, this guy's book will be shelved next to Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series - should get lots of attention that way" - not realizing that author Chris Colfer was also television star Chris Colfer. He ably weaves new stories like the Curvy Tree and the Walking Fish into Conner and Alex's adventures and encounters with classic fairy tale characters.

This first book in The Land of Stories series will be published on July 17, 2012, so get on the reserve list at your local library or independent bookstore now.

Book info: The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) / Chris Colfer. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012. [book series site] [publisher site

My Recommendation:  A dark dungeon or a middle school classroom – both can be prisons until the right fairy tale magic opens all the doors. One story sends a brother and sister questing through amazing lands where courage and cleverness may unlock the secrets to save a kingdom ...and their lives.

Conner and Alex loved Dad’s stories, like the legend of the Curvy Tree and the tale of the Walking Fish. Since he was killed last year in a car crash, it’s been rough for the twins and their mom. When Grandma gives them the family’s special storybook for their twelfth birthday, Alex reads herself right into the Land of Stories, and her brother has to jump in after her!

A talking frog who collects books, a gingerbread house in the woods, the three Charming brothers (formerly princes, now kings) – all the tales that the Baileys grew up hearing are real and true here! But now Goldilocks has grown up to be a swordswoman and wanted fugitive, the Big Bad Wolf’s family has vowed revenge on self-obsessed Queen Red Riding Hood, and Queen Cinderella is expecting a royal baby any day now.

If they ever want to see their mom or their world again, the twins will need the rare Wishing Spell. Luckily, Froggy had found a handwritten journal outlining the items needed to create the Spell, sending Conner and Alex through all the kingdoms of Happily Ever After to find them.

Alas, the Evil Queen has escaped from Queen Snow White’s dungeon with the magic mirror and will stop at nothing to have the Wishing Spell for herself!

Will the twins be able to acquire everything for the Wishing Spell? Can they escape troll caverns, goblin prisons, and over-talkative travel companions? Is the Big Bad Wolf Pack still on their trail? And what did the journal-writer wish for when he completed the first Wishing Spell?

First in a new series, this adventure story introduces new-to-us fairy tales along with intriguing what-happened-later versions of familiar classics. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun!

    1. With so many fairy tale retellings these days, it was fun to "discover" a couple of new-to-me tales, plus all the happily-(or not-so-happily)-ever-after possibilities.


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