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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Novella Review: Ruler of Beasts (Dorothy Must Die #0.6)

Release Date: February 16, 2016
Author: Danielle Paige
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 84 pages
Source: Library Audio Book

Danielle Paige delivers a dark and compelling reimagining of a beloved classic, perfect for fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Beastly by Alex Flinn, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

When the Cowardly Lion set off for the Emerald City in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Dorothy and the others, he sought courage above all else. This digital original novella is the sixth installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and thrilling New York Times bestsellers Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise, and is the Lion’s story after he got what he’s always wanted.

The Lion’s wish has finally come true—he is the courageous ruler of the forest and all of its beasts. But the Lion is bored—he misses the days of his adventures with Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, and the Scarecrow. When Glinda the Good Witch shows up unexpectedly and tasks him with a mission back in the Emerald City, he jumps at the chance to do something exciting, even though he knows she’s not telling him the entire truth.

    

SPOILER WARNING: So I wrote this while very tired, still a little tired, and there are mild/medium level spoilers in this review. I'll try and come back and edit this review later so there are as few spoilers as possible, but I'm kind of going to pass out right now.

Review:

Protagonist: Lion is bored, after the excitement of confronting General Ginger, all Lion wants is something to do and a purpose in his life. Enter the puppet master, Glinda, who asks Lion to watch over Ozma and try and find a long lost necklace capable of helping bring back an old friend. I can't believe I'm saying this since Lion seemed to have the most "red flags" when it came to turning to the dark side, but he's sort of the most sympathetic of Dorothy's friends. I was surprised to find that underneath his rough exterior, is a soft little kitty cat, well sort of. This is still a story of his turn to the dark side, but there's a large part of me that really wanted him to be forced into it, or it really wasn't him we saw in the main series because a large part of me bleeds for this character we see in this book. Lion wants to be good, but since he's not as shrewd and cunning as Scare, or as ambivalent as Tin, his perception of what is truly "Good" is off.

World Building: So, I've said before that the world building for these novellas isn't that big, especially these ones that deal with how Dorothy's friends turned evil, but if I'm not mistaken, and I sincerely hope I'm not, it seems that this story does hold a good amount of world building that will hopefully serve as foreshadowing to what might happen next in the main series. Also, after six prequel novellas, it's interesting to look back and put everything in chronological order to see how some of these carefully laid plans fell into place. I said Glinda's a puppet master and this story shows just how much she is.

Predictability: Going into this book I had so many expectations on how this story would unfold, especially after reading the previous two novellas, but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Not only did it sort of break the streak of interesting yet unnecessary novellas, at least presumably, but even after finishing it, I still felt sympathetic towards this character, which the only other time that happened in one of these novellas is in The Witch Must Burn. There are a few twists this book holds as well, some things that are hopefully foreshadowing for the future and some things that show more of how everything ties together.

Ending: I was really surprised and excited by how this story ended. Again, I still felt the Lion is a sympathetic character, and I almost wish we had seen more of how he turned evil, but I liked seeing that there was still a little bit of humanity in him, however much of an oxymoron that is, by the end of this story. The final climaxes, yes there are two, were really interesting and show not only how the Lion has come a good way since the beginning, but also set the stage for more in this world.

Rating:


I was not expecting to give this book five stars, I thought the Lion would be the least sympathetic of the bunch but there's a part of me that wants to just give him a hug, and the story was actually really fun and hopefully foreshadows what the future holds.

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