The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns

By Chris Colfer

From the back cover

ENTER THE LAND OF STORIES
WHERE FAIRYTALES ARE REAL

The evil Enchantress, who cursed Sleeping Beauty, is back with a vengeance. Can Alex and Conner Bailey save the fairy-tale world from the greatest threat it’s ever faced?

My thoughts…

Did they really live “happily ever after”?
Alex and Conner manage to escape into the world of fairytales a second time and catch up with many characters we’ve read about during our childhoods. They find that The Enchantress has returned and begun casting spells on different kingdoms in order to take over both worlds, the fairytale world and our world.

Since this book is a continuation of the fairytale stories of characters like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Repunzal, Jack (from Jack and the beanstalk), and some more, parents should note that some kissing between male and female characters occur as well as romantic relationships and jealousy leading to tremendously evil deeds are carried out.

In a gist…

Extramarital Love/Relationship

  • Alex and Conner’s mother has a boyfriend. She receives a bouquet of red roses with a card saying “Happy six months, xoxo” from her boyfriend. The kids read it and ask their mother about it where she admits that she had been dating him for six months. Bob, the twin’s mother’s boyfriend tells them that he wants to propose to their mother and talks to them about how much he loves her and that he’d never been happy before meeting her.
  • Mother Goose tells the twins that her and Leonardo Da Vinci had a “fling” and that they dated.
  • Chapter 2: The twins’ mother says that she fell in love with their father and dated for 2 months before they got married. Conner then wonders if it would be awkward for both his dad and his mom’s boyfriend to be all together in heaven.
  • A villain tells a story of a girl that became pregnant out of wedlock and agreed to give her baby away for money.
  • Chapter 11: while the kids are in fairytale land, one of the characters tells them that he’s in a romantic relationship with Red Riding Hood and they’re living together. He talks about her ex and how she still has emotions for him but doesn’t doubt her affection towards him.
  • Red Riding Hood goes through an emotional turmoil after going on an adventure with her boyfriend and ex at the same time.
  • Chapter 13: The Enchantress recounts the stories of 5 men she either fell in love with or had fallen for her. These stories of broken hearts are what changed her into a villain. She began hating helping others and looking for vengeance.
  • Chapter 21: two characters (male and female) share a long intimate goodbye kiss.
  • Chapter 26: Red kisses the Frog and it is sated that she was not repulsed by his slimy lips.

Violence

  • The Enchantress sends vines around a Kingdom and tortures characters with them. She creates fires that consume villages.
  • Some polar bears attack the main characters but they escaped. A polar bear falls into ice water.
  • The Enchantress floods the village of the Trolls while some characters are under ground and escape death.
  • A mother is threatened that her baby will be thrown into the fire if the king does not surrender his land to The Enchantress.
  • The Enchantress disintegrates at the end.

 

Profanity

None

Smoking/Intoxicants

  • Mother Goose gets drunk on the first night she arrives at the twins’ house leading Conner to exclaim that she’s his favourite fairytale character for getting drunk. She also offers the drink to the twins but they refuse saying they’re not legally allowed.
  • Mother Goose continues getting drunk with some soldiers every night.
  • Mother Goose tells the kids that Humpty Dumpty had a great fall because he couldn’t hold his gin.

Degradation of Family/Islamic Values

  • The story includes magic, fairies, and immortal beings.
  • The characters in Fairyland live eternally. Only Allah lives eternally.
  • In chapter 7: Mother goose sings drunkenly “I haven’t had this much fun since I was so very young, and used to rub-a-dub-dub with the three men in the tub”.
  • Mother Goose keeps getting drunk and makes some inappropriate references.
  • Mother Goose gambled and won the giant goose she rides on.
  • The Enchantress has the ability of collecting souls and placing this inside glass jars.
  • Two main characters boast about stealing.
  • The Snow Queen controls the weather and tells prophecies.
  • Chapter 19: A character proclaims “what in the name of Mother Goose is going on?”
  • A statement describing severe winds and thunder “it was as if Mother Nature was mourning”.
  • The villain has to master the “seven deadly sins of this world and conquer its past, present, and future” to take over the fairytale world as well as our world. In Islam, it is believed that communicating with jinn and receiving aid from them requires committing a number of great sins as well, including some demonic rituals. Is the author blending “Fairytale world” with what we know as the world of the jinns? The fairytale characters have superpowers, live long lives (sometimes immortally), and some of them can travel to our world and be seen by humans.
  • A story is narrated about a character that was born out of wedlock.

Positive messages

The twins love their mother and go to great lengths to save her. Their mother also works hard to take care of them on her own after their father’s death. The children protect and take care of each other. They also remember their late father fondly.
The book also displays the extremes to which jealousy may lead. And finally, that the villain is always destroyed at the end.

Final Verdict

The plot is interesting and funny at times. Children would find joy in reading a continuation to the stories of their favourite characters from their childhood. However, like most, if not all, fairytales, some of this story’s main themes is love, relationships (including kissing), magic, and maliciously evil characters

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