Monday, 4 May 2015

Spelled - Betsy Schow

Published; expected 2nd June 2015 Sourcebooks Fire

Source; ebook, ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

My Rating; 4 out of 5 stars

The Set Up;

Dothea is the current princess of Emerald, destined to be queen in time. Not that she's really had the freedom to enjoy being a princess. Her parents are always to busy running the kingdom to pay her attention and she has no friends of her own age and station. Worse still, she is forced to be a royal shut in because as well as the crown of Emerald, one day Dothea will inherit the family curse. Spoiled, neglected and thoughtless, Dothea is left very much to her own devices. Her interests include shoes, baiting the idiot princes brought out with the intention that she chose one to marry and shopping - well distance shopping as she can't go anywhere until she is married and there is no chance of the curse being activated by her. Of course, Dothea knows that she can do just fine without a man, thank you very much. And then at the royal ball, the choice is taken away from her and she is ordered to get married. There is just no pixing way she is letting that happen! It's just one little did everything go so wrong?


This is a fun, frothy fantasy spoof that spans across a mishmash of fairy tales and children's classics - notably Frank L Baum's Oz series. Dothea is not especially likeable - certainly not at the start - but she is engaging and the situation is unjust enough on the surface that you can't really blame her for unleashing hell, however unintentionally. The journey that follows charts her path into adulthood from spoiled child to someone who understands and fears the seductive, addictive feeling of true power and tries to use it wisely. Of course with two traveling companions that hate each other let alone her, things are bound to be far from plain sailing - there's plenty of cursing (the non magic kind), hair pulling and bickering along the way. And as they rub the rough edges off each other, the three 'companions' gradually bring out the best in each other. This is amusing and witty with some genuine laugh out loud moments and plenty of action. It dose suffer very slightly from the 30,000 word sag but this is brief and the plot only gets better from there. 

Unless you are someone who can't stand your female protagonists being a bit selfish or bitchy or downright idiotic, or you go into it with a mindset of things needing to be ultra realistic, then I'd highly recommend this. A fun read.

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