by Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Rate: 5 out of 5 stars
Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Although I wasn’t completely sure exactly where this book was set, I found myself drawn into the plot and world of this book really easily. Although Dorthea did come across as a really shallow character at first, I felt that she developed really well through the course of this book. Even though what happened to her was her own fault, there were times I couldn’t help feeling bad for her.
I thought it was good to see the different worlds and how they interconnected with each other, though I would have been interested in seeing a bit more of the well-known characters from fairy tales and how they all fit in the world. I wasn’t very clear about whether they were the actual fairy tale characters… or their descendents.
Dorthea didn’t really start off as a the typical heroine. In fact, if I was looking at her from an outsider’s perspective, I probably would have found her to be a really irritating character. As it was, seeing the plot from her perspective helped me to empathise with her a whole lot more… and I particulary found it interesting to see her own thoughts about how she’d grown and matured.
I thought it was a good idea to have the snippets of fairy tale lore included where it was relevant in the plotline and how the normal rules of the fairy tale world didn’t apply, after the wish that Dorthea had made.
It was interesting to see the use of words from the world as swear words. I’ve commented a few times that it’s irritating to see modern/this world curse words in a historical or other-world fantasy book, so it was really good to see Dorthea have her own versions.
I did especially like the romance in this book. I thought it was good that the time was taken to develop it and I did like Kato. There were some really sweet moments between the two of them, despite how Dorthea viewed him at first. I also found Rexi to be a really well-rounded character and it was amusing to see her and Dorthea interacting with each other.
I was a bit disappointed to see that the book ends on something of a cliffhanger. It does, however, make me want to read the next book/s in the series.
Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the alltoo-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.
Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.
Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”
The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.
I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”
“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.
In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”
Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.
I felt my own lip curl in response. Howrude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and noone dismissed me.
Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.
After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.
Until he opened his mouth again.
“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”
Becauseacageisstillacage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.
And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.
Read the first two chapters: http://embed.wattpad.com/story/39151220
Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.