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Literature / Twice Upon a Time

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Twice Upon A Time is a 2012 Fractured Fairy Tale novel written by James Riley, and is a sequel to Half Upon a Time.

WARNING: If you have not yet read Half Upon A Time, then from this point on there will be SPOILERS. You have been warned.

Three months after unwittingly releasing The Wicked Queen on the world, Jack, Phillip, and May are searching for the entrance to The Fairy Kingdom to find Merriweather and ask her the truth about May's identity.


However, when they arrive, they find the Fairy Kingdom under the affects of a powerful curse, putting everyone within its boundaries to sleep. May's little Fairy Companion falls victim to the curse, and Jack does as well, temporarily, trying to rescue said Fairy.

At this point, they encounter one of The Wiched Queen's much feared soldiers, a member of The Eyes, a young girl who calls herself Lian, who delights in tormenting our heroes. Lian informs them that four battalions of dragons are en route to the Fairy Kingdom to burn it to the ground, along with all of its currently slumbering citizens.

Jack and co. embark on a quest to find a Fairy Queen who can perform the counter curse before it's too late. Following is the final book in the series Once Upon The End.


Tropes from the novel:

  • Action Girl: May has grown much more into this role from the first book.
  • Batman Gambit: The heroes had everything they needed to break the curse with them when they arrived in The Fairy Kingdom from the beginning. Their entire quest was a series of misdirections played out by Lian, on the orders of the Wicked Queen to start a war with the Sea King. Lian, it turns out, is running her own gambit, aiding Jack and co. with the knowledge tha the Queen is listening in and trying to make it look like she's still trying to hinder them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Fairy Kingdom is saved, and May's identity is discovered. However, Jack has left with Lian to join the ranks of The Eyes, and it's appears the Wicked Queen has kept track of them the whole time. Even with that, however, it's part of a gambit by Lian to finish off the Wicked Queen for good.
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  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The trio of mermaids that Jack, May, and Phillip meet are this.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lian
  • The Dragon: Lian. She's also attempting to push Jack into this role.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Meghan is carrying Jack, May, and Phillip back to Bluebeard's ship as they are being chased by Lian and an army of mermen, Jack lets go of the mermaid and takes on Lian by himself to give the others a chance to escape.
  • I Am Who?: At the end of the book, May learns that the Wicked Queen stole her from her birth family and her only surviving relations are a stepmother and two stepsisters. May quickly puts two and two together and realizes that in the fairy-tale universe, she is technically Cinderella.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Lian, all the way.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Inverted. Bluebeard is not the wife-killing monster we know from fairy tales, but an alias devised by Prince Maarten to safely search for his mermaid lover, Meghan, without incurring The Sea King's wrath upon his kingdom.
    • Also inverted with Mako, who, despite being named after a vicious shark, is actually one of the nicer, more decent mermen.
  • Name's the Same: The novel shares a title with the 1980s animated feature by George Lucas.
  • Papa Wolf: Exaggerated. When the Sea King finds out that his daughter, Meghan, went into human hands because she fell in love with a human, namely Prince Maarten, otherwise known as Bluebeard, he sends his entire army to wipe out the humans. It's always awesome to stand up for your people, but that is a bit too much.
  • The Reveal: Lian is really Jillian. Jill for short. As in, Jack and Jill.
  • The Starscream: Lian is plotting to betray the Wicked Queen. She's a good deal more cautious than most in this Trope, and has made no overt signs of betrayal to her Queen. However, the Queen may still be well aware of her intentions, thanks to her blackbird, serving in the role of Surveillance Drone.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Jack pitches his sword at Lian, tripping her up. However, Lian later reveals that she needed Jack and the others to win.
  • Voluntary Shape Shifter: The Wolf King again.


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