FICTION

Dorothy Must Die Stories: No Place Like Oz, The Witch Must Burn, The Wizard Returns

416p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2015. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062280794.
COPY ISBN
Gr 9 Up—Previously published as individual ebooks, three prequel novellas to Paige's Dorothy Must Die (HarperCollins, 2014) are collected in one wonder-filled volume. Each entry takes place after Dorothy's original visit to Oz but before the events of the series opener. In "No Place Like Oz," Dorothy is back in Kansas but no longer content with her drab home after the glamorous and action-packed adventures she left behind in Oz. Surprised with mysterious glittery red shoes for her 16th birthday, she uses their magic to whisk her family back to Oz. Even there, her discontent and hunger for more power grows, and when the opportunity arises to usurp Ozma's throne, she seizes it at great cost. In "The Witch Must Burn," readers are given more insight into Jellia's character and background. Formerly Ozma's attendant and now one of Dorothy's head maids, she has seen the chaos that the new despot's and evil Glinda's rages have wrought. Readers are reunited with Nox and the other members of the WICKED group trying to overthrow Dorothy, and the seeds for the revolution are slowly sown. In "The Wizard Returns," Pete (or Ozma's alter ego) puts the con man to the test: with no memory of his past wrongdoings, will the Wizard continue to make the same mistakes? Or is he capable of being selfless, thereby becoming a possible ally in the fight to free Oz from tyranny? Readers get an even greater sense of the power plays and double alliances that have plagued Oz for generations. These tales can be read as standalones.
VERDICT Paige continues to weave an intricate spell that will delight series fans.

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