Andrew Lang's Fairy Books — also known as Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors — are a series of twelve collections of fairy tales, published between 1889 and 1910 from the British author Andrew Lang. In all, 437 tales from a broad range of cultures and countries are presented.

The books are required reading for anyone trying to understand many of the fairy tale references found throughout the official King's Quest games both common and obscure, the King's Quest Companion, and related literature. This article attempts to cover point out and connect many of the references by book.

Roberta Williams mentions in a couple of interviews that she read these books as a young girl, and that they were the inspiration behind Wizard and the Princess and the King's Quest series.[1]

Note that some versions of these stories can also be found within Brother's Grimm collections as well, or other authors such as Hans Christian Andersen.


Andrew Lang (1844–1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic. Although he did not collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources, who had collected them originally — with the notable exception of Madame d'Aulnoy — made the collections immensely influential. Lang gave many of the tales their first appearance in English. As acknowledged in the prefaces, although Lang himself made most of the selections, his wife and other translators did a large portion of the translating and retelling of the actual stories. According to Anita Silvey, "The irony of Lang's life and work is that although he wrote for a profession—literary criticism; fiction; poems; books and articles on anthropology, mythology, history, and travel ... he is best recognized for the works he did not write."[1] Many of the books were illustrated by Henry J. Ford, with Lancelot Speed and G. P. Jacomb-Hood also contributing some illustrations.

Blue Fairy BookEdit

Red Fairy BookEdit

Green Fairy BookEdit

  • The Magic Mirror (a story about a mirror that grants all wishes, and is a king's precious treasure, which he loses. Magic mirrors are common in fairy tales).
  • Rosanella (inspired name of Rosella and Valanice, inspired information about fairy shape-shifting)
  • Heart of Ice (source of Genesta)
  • The Story of the Three Bears (Goldilocks, and the Three Bears, porridge)
  • Prince Vivien and the Princess Placida (source of Lolotte, and other information on fairies, see KQ4 and Companion)
  • The White Snake (magical whitesnake, see KQ5)
  • The Story of the Fisherman and his Wife (Fisherman & his Wife in KQ4)
  • The Three Dogs (a dragon that demands a yearly maiden's sacrifice, see KQ3)
  • The Three Little Pigs (appears in new King's Quest, another variation on The Wolf)

Yellow Fairy BookEdit

Pink Fairy BookEdit

  • The Snow Queen (See KQ5)
  • Snowflake (See KQ5)

Violet Fairy BookEdit

  • The History of Dwarf Long Nose (brief reference to Haroun alRaschid, see Companion)
  • The Fairy of the Dawn (this is the source of the 'bridle being tossed onto an enchanted' creature puzzle, along with some of Andrew Lang's or others' books on Greek mythology, see Pegasus and Leather Bridle)
In the same story is a flying horse the first of the Welwa who tasks him to kill a dragon/worm in the air with his sword and sheaf the sword before he lands (likely the inspiration for the Magic sword in KQ2). The story has several dragons including a Three-headed Dragon (plus even dragons with even more heads, seven and twelve).

Crimson Fairy BookEdit

  • The Gifts of the Magician (also talks about throwing bridles on a horse).

Orange Fairy BookEdit

  • The Magic Book (magicians servant, boy disobeys magician's rule, finds magic book to learn forbidden magic/shapeshifting, boy runs away from wizard, any number of influences on both KQ3 see Gwydion/The Sorcerery of Old, and KQ5, see Iconomancy . This is another magic bridle story (see KQ2), this time a horse (the boy) turns into a dove when the bridle is removed)

Behind the scenesEdit

Some stories referenced by the fan games might also appear in some of these books or others. Such as a version of the Ugly Duckling appearing in the Orange fairy book.


  1. "A: When you were a young girl, were there interests, games or books you read that influenced what you're doing now? That you find coming out in your work? W: Yes. I hate to say though, because it sounds so dumb: fairy tales. I read the Green Book, the Blue Book, the Brown Book, the Gold Book ..."
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.