With The Land of Stories, Chris Colfer has built one of the most intriguing and entertaining fairy tale worlds in literature, a world that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. I’m delighted he expanded that world further with this graphic novel centered on Goldilocks—both her past and present. This is a thrilling story that contains action, adventure, humor, drama and a whole lot of wisdom and love.
After escaping the authorities for a crime she never meant to commit, Goldilocks has been living in the Dwarf Forests, where criminals are free to roam. However, one day, Cinderella’s husband, Prince Charming, decides to conquer the Dwarf Forests by executing everyone in it, planning to offer the land to his future son. There’s no way Goldilocks will ever let that happen, but what can one girl do against a whole army?
The main thing that turned me slightly off about this graphic novel was its visual aspect, the actual graphics. They are very cartoonish and not super detailed—bright colours and little shade. They are pretty perfect for a young audience; children who I’m guessing love these types of illustrations. I personally did not care for them at first, but I’ll admit the lively colours did grow on me and the exaggerated—dramatic—facial expressions added to the story’s atmosphere.
The rest is pretty well executed: the storyline and character arcs. Even the supporting roles fit well into the story and I found myself wanting to see even more of one particular character whose presence is not often seen but rather often felt: Red Riding Hood. I am wholly in favour of a graphic novel featuring her as the main heroine, or anti-heroine, rather. As for the actual heroine, Goldilocks, she is, of course, superb. She’s strong, three-dimensional, smart and, overall, a survivor, which is exactly what you need to be to live in the Dwarf Forests. I can only recommend this book and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories series. If you haven’t read it already, it’s never too late. While I do recommend getting to it before picking this up, it is not a requirement.
Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for a review.