Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spelled by Betsy Schow

3.5 Stars
“Rule #1: Every fairy tale comes equipped with a happy ending. You just have to find it.”

Dorthea is not your typical princess. Well, okay she kinda is. I mean she lives in the Emerald Castle, which she can never leave until her Prince Charming comes and slays a dragon in her honor due to a spell cast upon it by an evil witch and the only self-defense course she ever took was “How to Give an Open-Handed Slap.” The difference is, Dorthea doesn’t like it. When confronted at the annual Muse Day celebration by Kato, a man she’d never met but she finds out is soon to be her husband, Dorthea loses a bit of her shit and wishes for a change. And boy oh boy does she ever get one. All of the royalty of the various magic kingdoms begin revealing their true selves . . .

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Okay, maybe not that kind of revealing – more like Beauty has become a beast and Dorthea’s fiancé is looking more like a baby chimera. Not to mention the fact that her parents are missing and Dorthea has become the target of an evil queen . . .

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Who has an army of flying . . . puppies (?????) willing to do her bidding . . .

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You’re probably thinking, “evil puppies – how scary is that?” Well, just look at the guy above. Those adorable furballs already ate his entire face of off.

After making a quick escape with her servant girl, Rexi, and her furry little suitor courtesy of the magic Dust Devil, the trio find themselves caught up in a storm and deposited in unknown territory at the far end of the kingdom . . .

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It is there the real challenges for Dorthea begin – like how to find her parents, how to make her way back home, how to deal with power she never knew she had, how to come to terms that she was pretty much a vapid shallow PITA before the evil witch came along and rocked her world, and how to handle her impending nuptials. Are her parents correct that love for someone you didn’t even really like at first truly develop?

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(Assuming he can become human again)

Or should she marry a person like the Wizard, who is super attractive - even if he’s been putting off more than a bit of a creeper vibe.. . .

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How a girl like me can grow up HATING the movie The Wizard of Oz (I know, I’m a monster - I probably pinch babies when you guys aren’t around), but somehow become addicted to tales of any and all things having to do with the Emerald City as an adult is beyond me. The good news for all of you who don’t suffer from this affliction is that you might enjoy Spelled too. If you’re looking for a fun-filled retelling of a fairytale story - this one’s a winner. Tons of action, ZERO instalove, a great sidekick, and a refreshing tongue-in-cheek approach to all things magical:

“There’s really nothing to fear but fear itself. And trolls. Fear and trolls. Oh, and I guess gigans and dragons too. And can’t forget wicked witches. Yeah, I guess there really is a lot to fear.”

There’s even a shout-out to my favorite evil prince of all time . . .

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My only two complaints? Number one, that Dorthea had an internal struggle about using her powers. Heck to the nah. I’d be blowing up evil witches all over the place . . .

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And number two, that even though this has no “Book 1” notation after it, Spelled was TOTALLY open-ended and me no likey books in a series so this loses half a star.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

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