In this third book of the Dorothy Must Die series, Danielle Paige continues to evolve the world of Oz most of us know from childhood, and we see more of a place we haven’t read in a while: Kansas. Quirky, independent, and willing to go to extreme lengths to save the place she loves more than she ever has her old home, Amy Gumm is a fun protagonist who never holds back, and manages to keep her sense of humor even when things get kind of dark.
Definitely an upswing from book two, I really enjoyed seeing Amy interact with her old life, and how evident the personal growth Oz and the trials with Dorothy and the Wicked have wrought in her is. Amy learned more about magic, the history of Kansas and Oz, and overall it was very satisfying to finally understand more of what happened before the chaos that we landed in in book one.
However, I have a bit of a hard time with this series because while the plot and mindset have the feel of a young adult book, the setting and in some cases the writing feel more geared toward children/pre-teen audiences.
I feel a bit conflicted, because while I like the premise of the series, books two and three have felt really felt too drawn out, and the rules keep changing in a way that can get frustrating as a reader sometimes.
Nonetheless, I do enjoy reading this series because it provides a lighter tone, and a bit of an easier read with many of the same elements I love to read in literature.
This one really change the game. I really liked the Ozma/Pete explanation, and it was fantastic to see how much Madison had grown up after becoming a mother, and how well she and Amy handled their interactions despite the insanity around them.
I had a really hard time figuring out how to feel about Polychrome, because while very genuine she just felt very immature, even for an Oz royal. Nonetheless, her death was really upsetting, in addition to Glinda and Glamora now inhabiting the same body (read: uhhhhh).
Both this book and The Wicked Will Rise have felt very drawn out, and I think it might have been better if they were combined in a single novel; it’s hard for me to feel as pulled by the drama of the war and Amy/Nox issues as much when I’m having a hard time trudging through the pages to see what happens. I’m intrigued by the introduction of a new villain, and I really liked the way Dorothy’s demise was through her own doing, rather than an unrealistic showdown wherein Amy would somehow defeat a witch with decades more practice and power than she.
While this book wasn’t my favorite, I do enjoy the series, and I’m hoping book four will be written more in line with the things I loved about book one.