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The Enchantress Returns
Author Chris Colfer
Original title The Land Of Stories: The Enchantress Returns
Cover Artist Brandon Dorman / David Gilson (FR)
Publication information
Publisher Little Brown & Company
Release date 6th August 2013
Genre fantasy, children's literature
Pages 528
ISBN 978-1-907411-77-9 (hardcover)

978-0-316-20155-1 (paperback)

Preceded by The Wishing Spell
Followed by A Grimm Warning
Chapter Subpages
Chapter subpages None

"We're here! We're back in the Land of Stories!"

-Alex Bailey[1]

The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns is the second children's fiction novel in The Land of Stories series written by Chris Colfer. The book was first published on August 6, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.), New York.

In The Enchantress Returns, twins Conner and Alex Bailey return to the Land of Stories and face a new foe.

Jacket Interior Summary/ Back Blurb

"After decades of hiding, the evil Enchantress who cursed Sleeping Beauty is back with a vengeance.

Alex and Conner Bailey have not been back to the magical Land of Stories since their adventures in The Wishing Spell ended. But one night, they learn the famed Enchantress has kidnapped their mother! Against the will of their grandmother, the twins must find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue their mother and save the fairy-tale world from the greatest threat it's ever faced."

Dedications, Epigraphs & Acknowledgements

Dedication: The book is dedicated to Chris Colfer's sister Hannah:

To Hannah, for being the bravest, strongest and most honest person I know, and for showing that it's impossible to be "cursed" when one has a heart as courageous as yours. Also, for giving me my first black eye- you were four, I was nine. It still hurts. Bubba loves you.

Epigraph: "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." -Albert Einstein

Acknowledgements: I'd like to thank Rob Weisbach, Glenn Rigberg, Alla Plotkin, Erica Tarin, Meredith Fine, Lorrie Bartlett, Derek Kroeger, Liz Uhl, Tom Robb, and Heather Manzutto for their contributions to the CC Army. Thanks to Alvina Ling, Melanie Chang, Bethany Strout, Megan Tingley, Andrew Smith, and everyone at Little, Brown.

I'd like to give a special to all my friends and family who sometimes get neglected in the juggling act I call a life: my parents, my grandmother, Will Sherrod, Ashley Fink, Pam Jackson, Jamie Greenberg, Megan Doyle, Barbara Brown, Roberto Aguirre, and my enormous and growing extended family.

Seeing as this is my third novel published in just one month shy of a calendar year, I would like to thank the people who taught me how to read and write, as it was not an easy task: my elementary school teachers, Mrs. Shehorn, Mrs. Keller, Mrs. Karl, Mrs. Lubisich, Mr. Schultz, Ms. Smith, Mrs. Denton, and Mrs. Ulrich.

Since he sat on my lap while I wrote the majority of this novel and acted as inspiration, I would like to thank my cat, Brian, who couldn't care less about this recognition. Also Polly Bergen, for being the real Mother Goose.

Main Plot

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow!

Plot by Chapter

Prologue - The Rise and the Return

Just as the Eastern Kingdom celebrates its recovery from the Sleeping Curse, a magical spinning wheel appears and the thorn bushes around the castle start growing back, covering the kingdom. Queen Sleeping Beauty tries to escape to the Fairy Kingdom to reunite with her husband but is ambushed. Her escort is killed and she barely escapes. She finds out that the Enchantress that cursed her to sleep for 100 years is back with revenge.

Chapter 1: A Train of Thoughts

Alex travels home from her extra classes at college and thinks back to the last time she saw her grandmother. She misses life in the Land of Stories sorely.

Chapter 2: It Started With A Dog

The twins get a dog from Dr. Bob. Bob turns out to be their mother's boyfriend.

Chapter 3: Lunch In The Library

Alex feels lonely and conflicted and tries to communicate with her grandmother and access the Land of Stories through a fairy tale book from the library. Conner joins her, but it doesn't work.

Chapter 4: The Principal's Office

Conner is called to the new principal, Mrs. Peters, who encourages his passion for writing "original fairy-tales". This takes Conner by surprise.

Chapter 5: The Proposal

Dr. Bob asks the twins' permission to marry their mother. While they wait at home for him to propose, the twins' grandmother arrives and tells them she fears their mother has been kidnapped.

Chapter 6: Positioning the Gnomes

The twins are confined to the house, guarded by Xanthous, Sir Lampton and Cinderella's soldiers disguised as garden gnomes. They figure out their mother has been taken to the Land of Stories, and decide to find out how she got there.

Chapter 7: Loosey Goosey

Mother Goose comes to guard the twins. Alex tricks her into getting drunk, and she accidentally tells her that the Evil Enchantress Ezmia has their mother while rhyming. Alex packs some supplies and makes a run for it to her grandmother's cottage in hopes of getting to the Land of Stories on her own.

Chapter 8: The Cottage

Conner joins up with Alex, having taken Lester to get to her, and they arrive at the cottage, activating a portal to the Land of Stories.

Chapter 9: The Gathering in The Woods

Alex and Conner spy on a gathering of outlawed talking animals who are planning to join the Enchantress. They meet up with Prince Charlie, who is a frog again in order to spy on the outlaws undercover.

Chapter 10: Rumplestiltskin's Debt

Ezmia breaks into Pinocchio Prison to free Rumplestiltskin, her once apprentice, forcing him to help her kidnap a royal child [once again] She wants him to kidnap Sleeping beauty's baby.

Chapter 11: The Queen and The Frog

Froggy takes the twins to his new home; Red's castle. While they are there, they find out about the attack on Pinocchio Prison. Queen Red Riding Hood reluctantly agrees to smuggle them into the assembly the Charmings are having with the heads of state and the Happily Ever After Assembly to discuss about the Enchantress' activities.

Chapter 12: A Not-So-Charming Evening

Twins encounter old friend, Froggy, the Long Lost Prince Charming and follow him home with Queen Red. Later a letter arrives to go to The Charming Kingdom. Sir Lampton then tells Froggy and Red that Princess Hope was kidnapped by Rumplestiltskin. The Assembly finds out the connection between the Fairy Godmother and Ezmia, and the Enchantress herself appears to demand the surrender of the Kings and Queens. As they refuse, Ezmia traps the Fairy Godmother's soul inside a jar and vanishes with it.

Chapter 13: Jars of Souls

Rumplestiltskin tells his captive, Charlotte Bailey, his story; he used to be a dwarf dreaming of a life outside the mines, and Ezmia took him on as an apprentice and wanted him to take a royal child for her evil plans. He never intended to be a villain. Ezmia appears and tells her story to the twins' mother, whom she believes is Alex, and she reveals the identity of 5 other souls she has trapped in jars over the years. She explains how the world's treatment and expectations of her caused her to grow bitter and vengeful.

Chapter 14: The Wand of Wonderment

Red, Froggy and the twins travel back to Red's castle and find out the wall surrounding the kingdom has magically disappeared. Jack and Goldilocks have come to the castle to discuss what to do about Ezmia. Conner remembers the Wand of Wonderment that is mentioned in one of Froggy's books, which consists out of items from the 6 most hated people in the fairytale world and will make its wielder invincible, and convinces everyone it's their only chance and they have to try it. In order to travel fast and collect everything they need for the wand, Froggy suggests they build a hot air balloon / air ship. Jack designs it and oversees the building. Red confesses that she had the Beanstalk removed, so in order to retrieve the item from the Giant, they need to regrow the Beanstalk with the help of the [[The Traveling Tradesman|Traveling Tradesman] because Red riding hood cut down his original beanstalk.

Chapter 15: Bean There, Done That

With the help of Red's grandmother and several carpenters from the kingdom, they start building the air ship. Unfortunately, the Fairy Council wants to investigate the missing wall that the Enchantress has recently removed. To solve the problem, Jack and Goldilocks invite the twins go search for the infamous Traveling Tradesman. They find him and he gives them his last magic beans for free. He also warns them for danger inside the Giant's castle. The evening before the great departure, Conner sees a mysterious transparent woman who disappears before he can find out who she is.

Chapter 16: Flight of The Granny

They pack for their journey and plant the new Beanstalk. Red christens the air ship the "HMS Granny" and they are off.

Chapter 17: The Snow Queen

The Granny nearly crashes into the mountain peaks of the Northern Kingdom, but can gain altitude by dumping some of Red's baggage. They find the Snow Queen and fight her and her polar bears. Before falling unconscious, the Snow Queen gives Alex a prophecy: "Of the four travelers, one will not return." They now have part of the Wand: the Snow Queen's scepter.

Chapter 18: The Wicked Stepmother

At night on the Granny, Alex sees the ghost Conner saw when at Red Riding Hood Kingdom. The twins and Red meet with the Wicked Stepmother (Lady Iris) and her daughters. After hearing their story, the twins tell Lady Iris the truth about their mission and she voluntarily gives them her ring. Back at the HMS Granny, they find out Ezmia has attacked the Corner Kingdom, knocking down Rapunzel's tower.

Chapter 19: The Castle In The Sky

Jack, Froggy, Goldilocks and the twins climb the Beanstalk. They find out the Giant's most prized possession was Harper, and they are attacked by the Giant's giant cat. Queen Red saves them by chopping down the Beanstalk.

Chapter 20: The Reflection

Harper isn't very happy to hear she is to be part of the Wand of Wonderment. The twins go to the ruin of the Evil Queen's abandoned castle to gather pieces of the Magic Mirror. They meet Evly, also known as the Evil Queen,who is trapped inside the mirror. She recognises them and begs for forgiveness. She also warns them for Ezmia and tells them the ghost they have seen is the Lady of the East, she also tells them that Ezmia's most prized possession is her pride.

Chapter 21: The Sea Witch

To get their hands on the Sea Witch's jewels, Goldilocks pretends to be Queen Red and they offer to exchange her as a hostage. The Sea Witch is not deceived. They barely escape, but have the jewels and Dr. Bob's engagement ring, which the Sea Witch also had in her possession. The Granny's balloon is damaged in their struggle to get away and they crash-land into Troll & Goblin Territory.

To get their hands on the Sea Witch's jewels, Goldilocks pretends to be Queen Red and they offer to exchange her as a hostage. The Sea Witch is not deceived. They barely escape, but have the jewels and Dr. Bob's engagement ring, which the Sea Witch also had in her possession. The Granny's balloon is damaged in their struggle to get away and they crash-land into Troll ☃☃ Goblin Territory.

To get their hands on the Sea Witch's jewels, Goldilocks pretends to be Queen Red and they offer to exchange her as a hostage. The Sea Witch is not deceived. They barely escape, but have the jewels and Dr. Bob's engagement ring, which the Sea Witch also had in her possession. The Granny's balloon is damaged in their struggle to get away and they crash-land into Troll and Goblin Territory.

Chapter 22: Trollbella, Queen Of The Troblins

Everyone is lead into the Troll & Goblin Territory as captives. Dr. Bob is also there. He managed to get into the Land of Stories through a portal that the Fairy Godmother had opened and had been looking for the twins & Charlotte. Trollbella is now queen and enjoys making her prisoners dance for her. Then she spots Connor while he was trying to hide from Trollbella since she has a major crush on Connor. She orders her troll servants to get Connor so she can dance with him. One of her servants then bring a rock with Connor's face printed on to the rock and Trollbella explains to Connor that she made it and that she looked at it every time she got reminded of him. Connor was speechless because he didn't enjoy Trollbella's company. Trollbella proposes to Connor to becoming the king of the Troblin Territory. Connor thinks about it and suddenly out of nowhere a hourglass appears and Connor asks Trollbella what it was and Trollbella explains that Ezmia the Enchantress gave her an ultimatum to surrender, which she ignored since it was her dancing time, so her kingdom is flooded. The twins and the people try to escape, Goldilocks scoops Trollbella off her legs and Alex holds the wall for the citizens and she manages to escape. Everyone praises her for saving the Troblin Territory. They all decide to camp the night in the woods. The twins see the ghost again and follow her. Harper is visited by Ezmia. Ezmia then manages to capture the Land of Stories monarchs to make it official that Ezmia is the ruler of the Land of Stories.

Chapter 23: The Eighth Dwarf

Rumplestiltskin goes to see his brothers, the Seven Dwarfs, to warn them about Ezmia. They refuse to have anything to do with him because of his past.

Chapter 24: The Lady Of The East

The ghost leads the twins to Sleeping Beauty's Castle and they find out what Ezmia's plan is. Alex is a part of this plan, as she turns out to be the heir to the Fairy Godmother.

Chapter 25: Rock, Root and Rage

Ezmia kidnaps the Fairy Council and the Kings and Queens, snatching them from their kingdoms with large thornbush vines, and bringing them all together to listen to her.

Chapter 26: The Enchantress's Most Prized Possession

Goldilocks, Jack, Conner and Froggy are also taken as they try to save Queen Red and Trollbella from being taken. Alex remains free and goes after them with the Wand of Wonderment. Ezmia forces the monarchs to give up their kingdoms to her. One by one, they do so. Red is the last. When she is about to surrender, Alex arrives and takes Ezmia's most prized possession. The Wand is now complete and activates itself.

Chapter 27: The Dream

Alex has a dream, where Alex speaks to her literary heroines (Lucy, Alice, Dorothy and Wendy) and all of a sudden she realizes that she knows what to do about Ezmia The enchantress without having to kill her.

Chapter 28: The Greatest Magic Of All

Alex returns to Ezmia's coliseum and apologizes to her, taking away her anger and thus her power. But Ezmia takes control of the wand and tries to kill Alex. Rumplestiltskin jumps in front of her curse in the last moment and is killed. Conner destroys the wand and Ezmia, robbed of the power and magic that was keeping her alive, Ezmia The Enchantress dies.

Chapter 29: For Better, Or For Worse

After Rumplestiltskin's funeral, Dr. Bob and Charlotte are engaged and married. Jack and Goldilocks are pardoned for their crimes by the monarchs, but prefer to stay outlaws so steal Red's necklace in order to be on the run again. The Fairy Godmother announces that the Fairy Council has decided to close the gateways between the Land of Stories and the twins' world.

Chapter 30: The Good-bye

Just before the closing of the gateway, Alex announces that she is staying in the Land of Stories, because she feels that is where she belongs. Conner is very upset, but eventually agrees. He, his mother, Dr. Bob, Lady Iris and her daughters go through the gateway and it is sealed.


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).

Six Most Feared Villains

Snow Queen:

  • Most Prized Possession - Her Scepter
  • Killed in Worlds Collide by Xanthous

Stepmother and stepsister:

  • Most Prized Possession - Stepmother's ring
  • Moved to Otherworld for a second chance
  • Redeemed


  • Most Prized Possession - The Golden Harp
  • Killed before series by Jack

Evil Queen:

  • Most Prized Possession - Shards of her mirror
  • Freed from the mirror dimension in Worlds Collide for second chance
  • Redeemed

Sea Witch:

  • Most Prized Possession - Her Jewels
  • Killed in Worlds Collide by Esmeralda


  • Most Prized Possession - Her Pride
  • Killed in Enchantress Returns by Alex


Foreign language editions

The Chinese Edition of The Enchantress Returns

Cover of the French hardcover version of The Enchantress Returns by David Gilson


Cover of the French paperback version of The Enchantress Returns by David Gilson

  1. TLOS II, ch. 8, p. 126