Dorothy Must Die – book review

Dorothy Must Die
by Danielle Paige
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Amy has been poor and picked on for most of her life and she’d like nothing better than to get out of her small town, but she really didn’t expect her trailer park home to get swept up by a tornado and to be carried off to the Land of Oz.  And she certainly didn’t anticipate that her arrival would cause so much trouble, or that she would be bound to serve a coven of formerly “wicked” (Oz is in such a state now that it’s hard to know who or what are good or evil anymore) witches in their plot to overthrow and assassinate Dorothy.  Yes, that Dorothy.  She returned from Kansas, insinuated herself in the Emerald City, and began stealing all of the land’s magic for herself.  She’s become a tyrant on par with the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland).  Amy actually gets into her new role and after only a few weeks of training, infiltrates the castle posing as one of Dorothy’s maids – waiting for an opportunity to carry out the witches’ plans.

Danielle Paige’s reimagining of Frank L. Baum’s characters and world is truly dark and terrifying.  If you’re familiar with the Oz books or the Wizard of Oz movie, it’s quite an experience to see your favorite “good” characters warped into horrible, corrupted versions of their former selves.  How did they get that way?  Can they be redeemed?  What will Amy do?  It’s spelled out on the back of the first book – “Your mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, Steal the Scarecrow’s brain, Take the Lion’s courage, and then, Dorothy must die.”  Dorothy Must Die definitely whets the appetite for what is to come – readers will be hooked.  (While you’re waiting for the next chapter, you can read about Dorothy’s return and rise to power in a digital prequel novella, No Place Like Oz.)

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