Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dive into a sublime fantasy adventure (and the sequel) in "The Land of Stories" by Chris Colfer (Little, Brown)

"The Land of Stories - The Wishing Spell" now out in Paperback from Little, Brown
Imagine tumbling headfirst into a land where your favourite fairy-tale characters are real - as are their evil nemeses!

Chris Colfer - Better known to Glee fans as "Kurt" has been creating "The Land of Stories" since childhood. The book trilogy (with two books currently available - "The Wishing Spell" and "The Return of the Enchantress" - which has just come out in hardback, with a third on the way) is a richly fantastic set of stories for young and old, reminiscent of the works of C.S Lewis or The Brothers Grimm.

Twins Alex and Conner find themselves in "The Land of Stories" after their Grandmother gives them a mysterious book filled with amazing tales. Alex soon discovers that there's more to the book than they thought, and when she becomes a virtual recluse, locked up for hour after hour in her room with the book, Conner decides to investigate.

When he surprises Alex one afternoon, she inadvertently tumbles into the book - swiftly followed by Conner - and they find themselves embroiled in a world where ancient battles are fought, kingdoms are divided and characters they've known and loved from children's books are real.

They meet Froggy, a human-sized Frog who quickly fills them in on what's happening in this fantasy world, which is tinged with darkness. They discover that there may be an obscure path back to their own world through "The Wishing Spell", and they set out on a quest to find their way home.

"The Land of Stories" is divided up into kingdoms, like "Red Riding Hood Kingdom" or "The Northern Lands". Alex and Conner must have their wits about them to survive, but we soon discover that they're not the only ones searching for "The Wishing Spell".

"The Land of Stories" Book 2 - The Enchantress Returns. Currently available in Hardback from Little, Brown
Both books are real page-turners, and reading extracts to Charlotte (while sneaking a more in-depth read myself) reveals a rich tapestry of tales, brilliant characters and some novel twists on children's fairy tales and the folk who dwell in them. Colfer aims to produce a "Land of Stories" movie at some point, so here's a chance to get in on the action before the movie goes into production (it might seem a bit jarring when there are several other TV shows that dip into the rich back catalogue of children's fairy tales, but the stories here really do stand on their own two feet and are quite epic in scale). Ideally suited to children aged 8 upwards, they're also great to chip away at chapter by chapter when read to younger children too.

With sumptuous covers (and chapter illustrations) by Brandon Dorman, come and visit "The Land of Stories" soon - and you'll find yourself as immersed as we did!

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