The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz isn’t just any book fanfic style about what happens after some of our most beloved Disney movies ended. At first it seemed like that until I saw the depth of what this story wanted to bring forth that I had to stop and say “woah” a few times.
Auradon is the Kingdom ruled by King Beast and Queen Belle where everyone has their happily ever after, except nothing is as happy as it seems to everyone. If you ever wondered what happened after The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, The Beauty and The Beast, and many other stories, this goes very into detail as how not even fairy tales are perfect for everyone. The sidekicks i.e. Flounder, the mice, the three fairies, etc., are unhappy with all the work and little benefits, princesses that have no brains at all, a King who looks a bit arrogant to my eyes, not even the perfect island for goodie-two-shoes is perfect.
Then we have The Isle of the Lost, a dump where all the bad guys live and we see the lives of our main characters, Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos, as they go on a search for Maleficent’s Dragon’s Eye, which may be the only remaining source of magic on the island they were sent to by King Beast.
This book goes into political arguments about hard labor, benefits to workers, the responsibilities of a king, and how what might look perfect on the outside can be wretched on the inside. I mean, come on, just because you abandoned all the villains in an island it doesn’t mean there can’t be any bad in Auradon, and the same with good in The Isle. Which is just perfect because I think that’s what the book was aiming at.
“Why us? How did we luck into this life? How is that fair? To be born into a life without a choice in the matter, without the freedom to be anyone else?”
Each character faces an ugly reality as they have to live to their parents expectations about being extremely evil (Mal), provide them with the luxurious life they once had (Jay), be their slaves (Carlos), magnificent beauty unprecedented (Evie), and be a rightful king like this father (Prince Ben). Through these characters we are faced with an old dilemma all teenagers face about identity. Everyone tells you to be something that you’re not once in a while, and you have to do things you don’t want to. But we have the choice to decide who we truly are and how we want to be, regardless of our parentage or previous life choices.
This was a really great read I deeply enjoyed. It was seeing fairy tale twists like never before. I fangirled so hard whenever a famous character was mentioned, like Dr. Facilier, Maleficent, Belle, Flounder, and many more. I can honestly say that I am even more excited to what awaits these characters in the Disney Channel movie The Descendants.