|A Grimm Warning|
|Original title||The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning|
|Cover Artist||Brandon Dorman / David Gilson (FR)|
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Release date||8 July 2014|
|Genre||fantasy, children's literature|
|Preceded by||The Enchantress Returns|
|Followed by||Beyond the Kingdoms|
The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning is the third children's fiction novel in The Land of Stories series written by Chris Colfer. The book was first published on July 8, 2014 by Little, Brown and Company (a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.), New York.
Publisher's Summary & Jacket Interior Summary
Publisher's summary: Conner Bailey thinks his fairy-tale adventures are behind him—until he discovers a mysterious clue left by the famous Brothers Grimm. With help from his classmate Bree and the outlandish Mother Goose, Conner sets off on a mission across Europe to crack a 200-year-old code.
Meanwhile, Alex Bailey is training to become the next Fairy Godmother… but her attempts at granting wishes never go as planned. Will she ever be truly ready to lead the Fairy Council?”
When all signs point to disaster for the Land of Stories, Conner and Alex must join forces with their friends and enemies to save the day. But nothing can prepare them for the coming battle… or for the secret that will change the twins’ lives forever.
The third book in the bestselling Land of Stories series puts the twins to the test as they must bring two worlds together!
Dedications, Epigraphs & Acknowledgements
Dedication: To J. K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, Eva Ibbotson, L. Frank Baum, James M. Barrie, Lewis Carroll, and all the other extraordinary authors who taught the world to believe in magic. When I think of all the time I spent inspecting wardrobes, spotting second stars to the right, and waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter—it’s no wonder I didn’t get good grades. Also, to all the teachers and librarians who have expressed their support for this series and incorporated it into their classrooms. It means more to me than words can describe.
Epigraph: "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." -Winston Churchill
Acknowledgements: I’d like to thank Rob Weisbach, Alla Plotkin, Rachel Karten, Glenn Rigberg, Derek Kroeger, Lorrie Bartlett, Meredith Wechter, Joanne Wiles, Meredith Fine, and my second brain, Heather Manzutto. Thanks to Alvina Ling, Melanie Chang, Bethany Strout, Megan Tingley, Andrew Smith, and everyone at Little, Brown. My parents, my sister, Grandma, Will, Ash, Pam, Jamie, Jen, Melissa, Babs, Dot and Bridgette, Romy, Roberto, Char, Whoopi, Brian, and the rest of my friends and family who have provided material for this book without realizing it. Jerry Maybrook for spending countless hours with me recording audiobooks and for baking the best homemade bread I’ve ever tasted! The people at St. Matthäus-Kirchhof cemetery and Neuschwanstein Castle. And to all the readers who send me artwork of their favorite characters and book reports—nothing makes me smile more!
Plot by Chapter
Prologue: Guest of the Grande Armée
1811- One of the commanders of the French Grande Armée has kidnapped the Brothers Grimm. He knows they have been getting their stories from fairies and demands to know how to get to the fairytale world. He has also captured Mother Goose and her golden egg, but she escapes as soon as she wakes up. The Brothers Grimm are given an ultimatum.
Chapter 1: An Educational Opportunity
Conner is about to leave on a three day trip to Germany with Mrs. Peters and some other students to witness the first reading of three fairytales by Brothers Grimm that were found in a time capsule. He briefly speaks to Alex, whom he misses very much, through their magic mirror. She says she has been learning a lot and living in the Land of Stories is like a dream come true.
Chapter 2: The Hall of Dreams
During her training as a fairy, Alex is ambitiously trying to grant three wishes before noon every day. Helped by her unicorn Cornelius, she finds three people with a wish (one of them the father of Rook, a boy she finds rather interesting), but her attempts to help them backfire. Frustrated, she returns to the Fairy Palace and talks to the Fairy Godmother, who explains that not everyone with a wish wants to be helped. She shows her the Hall of Dreams to help her choose which wishes she can grant.
Chapter 3: The Book Huggers
Chapter 4: A Wedding In The Woods
Chapter 5: Insight At The Grave Sight
Conner arrives in Berlin and attends the reveal of the new fairytales. Two of them turn out to be very familiar (The Curvy Tree and The Walking Fish). The third is a warning of sorts about an army approaching the land of Stories. Conner tries to reach Alex to warn her, but to no avail. Meanwhile Bree has recognised Conner's "original stories" and is very surprised.
Chapter 6: Queen Red's House of Progress
Chapter 7: Little Bo Peeping
Alex and Rook go on a walk to get to know each other better. They go spy on Little Bo Peep and discover she has a magic mirror hidden in her barn, through which she communicates with a mysterious lover. She wants to become queen to free him.
Chapter 8: The Fairy Inaugural Ball
After an inauguration test at the Fairy Ball, Alex is accepted into the Fairy Council. She meets Rook, who has sneaked in to see her. Rather than being upset that she didn't tell him exactly who she was, Rook is very impressed and they share their first kiss. Three witches arrive at the ball uninvitedly and give them a prophecy about an approaching 'army of thousands'. Mother Goose knows what this means and contacts Conner.
Chapter 9: Abandon trip
Conner and Mother Goose talk through the mirror. The Grimm's third fairytale is true and the French army is traveling through a portal to the Land of Stories, on a route that would take them 200 years to get there. Mother Goose never told anyone about it because the portals were all closed after the Enchantress was defeated- but now they may have re-opened. Conner has to check a portal on his side. Bree overhears their conversation and, after hearing the truth from Conner, offers to help him.
Chapter 10: The South Bank Lion
Conner and Bree travel to London and find the South Bank Lion, who tells them where to find the portal and how to activate it. The portal is in Germany, but they need a magic panpipe to open it, which is in Mother Goose's vault in Monte Carlo.
Chapter 11: The Lumière des Etoiles Casino
Conner and Bree travel to Monte Carlo accompanied by "Granny Pearl", an old German woman they took with them from London so they wouldn't look suspicious traveling alone. They retrieve the panpipe from Mother Goose's vault and travel to Neuschwanstein, Germany.
Chapter 12: The Secrets of Neuschwanstein Castle
Conner and Bree find their way to the castle and trick a local boy into sneaking them inside. They discover the portal and activate it: Conner, Bree and the boy Emmerich are sucked into it.
Chapter 13: The Evicted Queen
Bo Peep challenges Red to a debate before the election. It doesn't go well for Red. She loses the election and her throne. She is evicted from the castle. Alex takes her and Froggy to the Fairy Palace and they find out the Fairy Godmother is sick. Froggy turns back into a frog.
Chapter 14: The Armée Arrives
Conner, Bree and Emmerich arrive in the Land of Stories. So does the Grande Armée. General Marquis interrogates a man from the Eastern Kingdom and then has him killed. He advances to Pinocchio Prison to recruit for his army.
Chapter 15: A Bittersweet Reunion
Alex finds out her grandmother is dying; this is why the magic is starting to fail and Froggy turned back into a frog and the portal reopened. Conner, Bree and Emmerich arrive and they fill each other in on the situation. Bree and Emmerich cannot go home yet because the portal is only half-opened (one way).
Chapter 16: The Masked Man of Pinocchio Prison
Most prisoners in Pinocchio Prison join the Grand Armée. One prisoner in particular, the Masked Man, offers to help General Marquis. He says the only way to defeat the Fairy Council is to have a dragon on their side, and he knows where to get one.
Chapter 17: The Only Witness
Alex and Conner go to Pinocchio Prison and talk to Gretel. They find out that the Armée wants to get a dragon. When they find their camp, they see them and their new allies are preparing for war.
Chapter 18: Sending the Swans
Alex assembles the Land of Stories monarchs and makes a battle plan; splitting up the armies, keeping the royals on the move on a magically hidden path to keep them safe, and going to negotionate with the Troblins and the Elves to join them. Jack and Goldilocks arrive to protect the royals.
Chapter 19: An Icy Trade
General Marquis and the Masked Man travel to the Northern Mountains to retrieve a dragon egg from the Snow Queen. She wants the Northern Kingdom in return. General Marquis wants to kill the Masked Man after receiving the egg, but the Masked Man convinces him they need his knowledge about hatching dragons. The Snow Queen prophecises that the Masked Man's identity will soon be revealed.
Chapter 20: The Great Troblin Lake
Alex and Conner visit Trollbella at the Troll and Goblin Territory (now The Great Troblin Lake). Thinking she'd never see Conner again, Trollbella has found a new love interest. To make Conner feel better about this, she agrees to let them have her army.
Chapter 21: From The Ashes
The royals pass a village that has been destroyed by the Grande Armée, its only survivior a small baby. Queen Sleeping Beauty decides to adopt it. Upon seeing the destruction, Red realises she wants to be able to fight and asks Goldilocks for lessons.
Chapter 22: To The Core
The Armée is hatching the dragon egg in the Eastern Kingdom, making captured villagers work for them. Thanks to Alex strategy, their scouts are fooled into thinking their opponents' armies are smaller than they are.
Chapter 23: The Elf Empire
The Troblins agree to join Alex and Conner. After this, the twins travel to the Elf Empire. Empress Elvina is opposed to helping them because of the way the elves were treated by the Fairy Council in the past, but Alex convinces her by promising to abolish the Happily Ever After Assembly and founding a new, inclusive assembly with Elvina. Before the elf army can join their forces, however, they are attacked by the Armée. Lester, Alex and Conner are badly wounded.
Chapter 24: The Forgotten Army
The Charming Kingdom is under attack. Its civilians join the army to help fight off its attackers.
Chapter 25: The Healing Flames of Hagetta's Fire
Alex and Conner wake up in a witch's cottage; she is Hagetta, Hagatha's sister, a healer. She helps them get well by magic. She also tells them about some of the others she has helped in the past (Goldilocks, Little Bo Peep).
Chapter 26: Feeding The Creature
The dragon is hatched, but the Armée has lost a lot of men in the fight against the Charming Kingdom. To save his father and the other villagers, Rook offers to bring the army to the royals in return for the villagers' freedom. The royals are ambushed and captured.
Chapter 27: The Signal In The Sky
To rally all armies at once, Alex and Conner join forces to achieve "the greatest magic ever attempted"; turning themselves into a shooting star as a signal and means to transport all the armies to the Fairy Palace.
Chapter 28: The Battle For The Fairy Kingdom
General Marquis is about to execute the royals, but Alex and Conner arrive just in time. The kings and queens, Jack, Goldilocks, Froggy, Red, Bree and Emmerich are freed and rather than hide, the royals stay and fight. Bo Peep flees and Froggy and Red try to find her. Alex finds out Rook betrayed them. The soldiers of the Grande Armée are defeated, but General Marquis refuses to surrender. The Masked Man arrives with the dragon.
Chapter 29: The Dragon Awakes
The Masked Man reveals his plan of using the Armée to get to the Fairy Palace to take his revenge on the fairies with the dragon. He makes the dragon kill the General. Bo Peep tries to stop him, appealing to their love, but fails. She dies of heartbreak. Rook leads Cornelius and the unicorns into an attack against the dragon. Alex begs her grandmother for help; the Fairy Godmother wakes up and defeats the dragon, using her last magic. She then passes on.
Chapter 30: Returning To Magic
After honoring the fallen, Bree and Emmerich return to their world. Before she goes, Bree confides in Conner that she has a crush on him too. Rook comes to talk to Alex, but she doesn't want to be with him anymore. Conner decides to stay in the Land of Stories for now to help Alex get used to being the new Fairy Godmother.
Chapter 31: The Dawning
Alex founds the Happily Forever After Assembly and appoints Jack and Goldie to capture the escaped criminals from Pinocchio Prison. Froggy is elected King of the (former) Red Riding Hood Kingdom / Bo Peep Republic. He decides to name the kingdom the Center Kingdom, a name he hopes will last. The fairy castle is attacked by the remainder of the Armée, but it is only a distraction so the Masked Man can sneak into the Fairy Godmother's room. Alex catches him in the act and is shocked to see who he really is underneath his mask. She tells Conner that the Masked Man is their father, who supposedly died a long time ago.
Praise for the Land of Stories Series:
"It will hit big with its combination of earnestness and playful poise." (The New York Times Book Review).
"It's hard not to love [the book]...Colfer gets off many good lines [and] the nifty ending ties the plot's multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures." (Publishers Weekly).
"A magical debut." (Family Circle).
"Captivating." (Teen Vogue).
"In The Land of Stories, Colfer showcases his talent for crafting fancifully imaginative plots and multidimensional characters." (Los Angeles Times).
"There's more in Colfer's magic kingdoms than Disney has dreamt of." (USA Today).
Foreign language editions