Book Review: Spelled
By: Betsy Schow
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Page Count: 352
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
Dorthea, the princess of Emerald, is less than thrilled with her lot in life. A curse placed on the women of her family long ago keeps her confined to the castle and its gardens. She is not allowed to go beyond its walls or there is potential that she will burn down the world. That's a lot of baggage for a teen princess to carry. Dorothea just wants to see the world, but it doesn't seem like a possibility until one night when she makes an impulsive wish. Life as Dorthea knows it will never be the same.
Dorothea along with a servant and a prince turned chimera must navigate foreign territory to save the world from evil witches and set things right once more. A magical adventure full of fairy tale and Wizard of Oz allusions ensues. Humor, twists, turns, and a Hydra await the trio as the set out to right the wrongs created by Dorthea's wish.
This is a fluffy, cotton candy story that was perfect after reading a novel with some serious issues. I appreciated the humor and it was fun to see familiar stories in a new context. The mishmash of fairy tales and the land of Oz made for an entertaining journey.
My biggest complaint was the overwhelming plot. The adventure is compelling, but there is so much happening in this one. The characters keep up an exhausting pace. Between readings, I often would forget why they were in peril and have to reread the previous chapter before diving into the new stuff.
Overall, I liked this one and would recommend it to those looking for a fun, silly journey through familiar stories. I could easily see middle grades readers also gravitating towards this one. Spelled is a fun, cute read that felt like a fairy tale parody.
One Last Gripe: Dorthea is difficult to like. I spent most of the book rolling my eyes at her immaturity and selfishness.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The humor - I especially enjoyed some of the more clever and subtle allusions
First Sentence: Rule #17: To rescue a princess from magical imprisonment, a handsome prince must first slay the dragon.
Favorite Character: Kato
Least Favorite Character: Blanc
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.
Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.
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.