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.
This is my favorite quote from the book because it, basically, summarizes the whole theme of the book and shows how much Dorothea has grown from the whiny little princess at the beginning:
Though I still believed in the Storymakers, I’d started to question how much control I had on how this story turned out. Maybe it was me and not the curse that would determine the kind of person I became. The power alone wouldn’t make me evil. It all depended on what I did with it. But that didn’t mean I had to be helpless either, waiting for someone else to solve my problems. Hero or villain–it was up to me to decide.
Prince Kato is a complete darling. I love him! At first he’s like this weird prince who looks super evil with an agenda of his own, I almost detested him. Almost. He later becomes a strange creature, kind of like a puppy, it was completely hilarious. I probably make no sense but I don’t want to give away much. However, as we get to know him more like Dorothea does, he shows his true colors and that he’s not as bad as Dorothea thinks him to be at first. He’s romantic, dedicated, a true leader willing to give his all for his people, and did I mention romantic?
Other than the awesome cast of characters in this story, the other aspect that made this whole thing something amazing was the imagination and creativity the author had with everything. There’s mention of fairy tales such as Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, basically all those. In Spelled we are thrown into this world where Fairy Tales are the norm and every princess in distress has her happy ending with a prince. Except Dorothea doesn’t want this. There are things such as the Storymakers too, which in our reality are writers, who are the ones who create the destinies of these characters, etc. It was mindblowing to see all these twists with a sprinkle of the author’s unique style make this tale memorable. And completely hilarious with fairy tale advice, villains telling their experiences, how to be a ruler, among many more things.
“I hate to tell you, but that Jolly Roger has sailed, sunk, and been eaten by ticking crocodiles.”“Power is a worm that crawls into your heart and eats away your soul. Finally, when there’s nothing left–that’s when the good part starts,” Malevolent, Dungeon Confessions.
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?”
Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.
And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.
Read the first chapters at Wattpad!
Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.