The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige is book two and the sequel to Dorothy Must Die. But there is also a prequel to the story line called No Place Like Oz and other novellas that make up the backstory.
“…My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas…”
Like her hero before her, Amy Gumm is taken by a tornado and deposited in the Land of Oz. But Oz has changed since Amy first had heard the story of Dorothy and Oz. Dorothy had returned to Oz and with the seduction of the magic of the land, taken it over. The Scarecrow is a Mengele styled doctor experimenting on the creatures of Oz. The Lion a brutal enforcer and the Tin Woodman a dangerous guard. Dorothy, with the help of Glinda, has become a dictator Queen.
Amy is given a mission by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. Cut out the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the brain of the Scarecrow. Take the courage of the Lion, and of course, kill Dorothy. Their attack on the Emerald city fails and Dorothy lives and now, with the damaged but true ruler, Princess Ozma, under her protection, Amy must find a way back to the Emerald City and the source of all magic in the land. But can she get past Dorothy and Glinda? And what is this relationship between the land of Oz and Kansas?
“…Dorothy recoiled in shock, and as my knife returned to me in a flash, a look of even deeper surprise crested her face.
In her moment of confusion, I drew the knife back and plunged it through her heart. I pushed it straight through her body until I saw the bloody tip come out the other side.
Dorothy screamed, doubling over in pain. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes bugged out; her smooth, china-white skin began to sag and wrinkle as she aged what looked like twenty years in a fraction of a second. She began to turn green.
I had done it. I killed her.
I towered over her, raised my fist to the sky, and called down more of the darkness, letting it rip through me. I had done it. I had killed her. This was who I was. This was who I was meant to be.
Then she stood up…”
Amy is terrific character and a remarkable contrast to the first girl from Kansas to make the trip to Oz. Gone is the innocent farm girl and in her place steps a street smart trailer park girl whose anger and bitterness at life shapes her vision of the world around her. Dorothy has changed as well. Her innocence has left her and in its stead is a power hungry dictator that would give Maleficent a run for her money.
The politics of Oz set the stage for revolution that Amy is drawn into. Can she survive it or will she become more of the problem itself.
Paige writes beautifully and The Wicked Will Rise is a welcome addition to the story line. A terrific sequel that sets up a battle royal for the ending.
A very good read.