It’s no denial that I enjoyed the first book of Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories (my review can be found here). So when the second book was released, I bought it at Fully Booked the soonest possible.
Here’s the plot description from the jacket cover of the book:
The Land of Stories is no longer the joyful world Alex and Conner Bailey remember from their Wishing Spell adventure: The evil Enchantress, who cursed Sleeping Beauty, is back with a vengeance, and the fairy-tale world lives in fear.
When the Enchantress’s evil reach extends even to Alex and Conner’s world—and their mother is kidnapped!—they must defy their grandmother’s orders and find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue her.
With a little help from a reluctant Queen Red Riding Hood, the swashbuckling outlaws Goldilocks and Jack, and their old amphibian friend, Froggy, can Alex and Conner save their mother and the fairy-tale world from the greatest threat it’s ever faced?
The story of Alex and Conner continues in this book, but with a more dangerous crisis. Evident from the title, the Enchantress, whom all fairy tale characters fear, has returned to carry out her vengeance in the whole fairy tale land. What’s worse, Alex and Conner’s mother has been kidnapped. It gets more complicated when their grandmother, the Fairy Godmother, prohibits them from leaving their house. But knowing the twins, they would go extra miles to rescue their loved ones.
With that said, it’s not a surprise when they outsmart the fairy tale characters guarding them and go on a “short” trip to find a place where they could trigger a portal to the fairy tale world. There, chaos is gradually spreading. Thus, they try to locate specific items spread across the world that will serve as the key to defeat the Enchantress.
Familiar characters once again appear in this book and play a larger role as compared to the first book. Froggy, Red, Goldilocks, and Jack accompany the twins for the mission. I love seeing the characters again, but I guess there are too many characters that they become a bit static. Their characterizations aren’t that well-developed. I only find Alex and Conner possessing dynamism in their characters. Aside from them, Red has been the other character I find stunning enough to be memorable, despite her peculiar personality. On the other hand, that’s what makes her unique and stand out from the rest. Red and Conner definitely bring more flavors to the story due to their natural and unrealized humor.
The Enchantress Returns definitely does not disappoint. Every chapter pertains to a new adventure and challenge the protagonists face. Although I feel it’s a bit rushed, the adventures aren’t too dragging. Moreover, I am impressed with Chris Colfer’s imagination and creativity, plotting new twists to the history and relation of the fairy tale characters to one another. There are times when I find myself surprised with the true nature of the well-known characters, especially the villains. Readers will certainly look at them at a different light once they’ve read this book. The Enchantress Returns undeniably lets readers learn to open their eyes and minds to embrace change and the inevitable.
This is truly an interesting read. Chris Colfer keeps the story simple, which I believe makes his story more appealing to younger readers, but that’s not an issue for me. I still find myself enjoying the book, feeling nostalgic with all the characters being mentioned. And with a surprising ending, the story of Alex and Conner doesn’t end here. There’s more to come and I cannot wait for the next book.