Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we are going to be discussing Spelled by Betsy Schow.
Spelled, like so many recent books, is a new twist on an old tale. Everyone knows the story of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, but the Dorothy found in Spelled has never known Kansas. Schow takes the well-known story and twists it into something we’ve never seen before. This concept is very popular in the YA genre at the moment, and Schow weaves her magic (pun intended) extremely well in her retelling of The Wizard of Oz.
Dorthea (or Dot to her friends) has everything she wants out of life — except for the ability to leave home. Sure, being the Emerald Princess has its perks, including extravagant ball gowns made by Glenda, but along with the royal title comes the royal curse. The curse states that one day a girl from the Emerald line will turn evil and leave Emerald to burn. Dot might not be the cursed Emerald, but she’ll never leave the castle just to be on the safe side. However, this is a problem for Dot, because all she wants is freedom.
When Dot attends yet another ball, she expects business as usual, but everything changes when her parents announce her engagement to Prince Kato. An arranged marriage to a prince she has never met is not what Dot meant by freedom, so Dot makes a wish on a star. Unfortunately, though, Dot doesn’t realize that the star is cursed.
When Dot recovers from a blast resulting from the cursed star, she finds her kingdom in chaos. Her parents are missing and all the fairy tale rules appear to be broken, which means that Dot may not be able to fix this. Worst of all, an evil witch named Griz is trying to kill Dot. The only way to fix everything is for Dot to find the spring over the rainbow, but can the girl who has never left the castle handle herself in a world where the rules of magic no longer apply?
Spelled is a fun new take on the same old Oz. Fairy tale rules are broken, and there is no guaranteed happy ending.
— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor