Aug 02 2015

The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms by Chris Colfer (Book Review)

TLoS4Rating: ★★★

Review: This is the fourth book by Chris Colfer, but it is not by far my favorite. In fact, it’s probably my least favorite of the four thus far. But let me start by listing what I liked about the book before I go over the few minor things I could have done without.

For starters, I think Chris Colfer is a master storyteller. The way he is able to weave fairy tales that we probably wouldn’t imagine putting together, is amazing. The tales are the main reason I keep reading these books. I realize these probably classify as VERY young adult, probably more like mature children, but I don’t care, they’re good!

I enjoyed the tales he chose to visit this go round although I do have one question though: Why, out of the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man did you choose the Tin Man as the one the Bailey children meet? I feel like there was meant to be some significance beyond his fascination with wanting a heart and helping them reach Wonderland because he assume the Queen of Hearts will be able to give him what he’s been seeking? Unless the decision really was that simple? In which case…oh…

Reading this book and the previous ones as well, made me want to go back and reread the original fairy tales as they were intended because there is a lot mentioned that I don’t recall but I assume it’s because I only know the watered down versions of many of these stories. As most of us do.

What I didn’t like isn’t really a fault of the authors. In fact, one could argue that it proves the point of how well a writer Chris Colfer really is. The main characters, Alex and Conner, really got on my nerves in this one. Alex with her insecurities and Conner with his lack of knowledge in basic stuff. I mean, I get they are teenagers who have been through a lot so these are probably the normal sets of emotions they’ll be going through? Doesn’t mean I have to like it or even try to understand it. How I feel about them actually reminds me of how I felt while reading the 5th Harry Potter book when he was going through “the change” and lashing out and being the “typical teenager.”

All in all, this book was, for me, just “okay” and while I will continue to read the two or three that are soon to come, I hope the attitudes of Alex and Conner improve somewhat.

Synopsis: Fairy tales are just the beginning.

The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and it’s up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him…except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they’re in danger.

With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose and her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the Masked Man’s secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature’s greatest villains!

So begins a race through the magical Land of Oz, the fantastical world of Neverland, the madness of Wonderland, and beyond. Can Alex and Conner catch up to the Masked Man, or will they be one step behind until it’s too late?

Fairy tales and classic stories collide in the fourth adventure in the bestselling Land of Stories series as the twins travel beyond the kingdoms!


Beyond the Kingdoms
The Land of Stories, #4
by Chris Colfer
432 pages
Little Brown & Company, 2015
Young Adult / Adventure
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