Review: Spelled – Sarcastic Emerald Princess and a Chimera

Posted June 1, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Spelled – Sarcastic Emerald Princess and a ChimeraSpelled by Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (2015)
eARC (352 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: 2015 Fairytale Retelling, Read 2015


Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.
Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.
Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Find the book: Goodreads

My Review

This book is a retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum. I haven’t read the original yet though it is sitting on my shelf, staring at me.

Dorthea is an interesting narrator. She is snarky, sarcastic, and self-centered. She often takes things on appearance and thinks her life should be perfect just because she i the Princess of Emerald. She can definitely get a bit annoying.

There is Kato who, despite being silent for quite a portion of the book, is quite possibly my favorite character. He doesn’t put himself first and act all entitled even though he really could with his position. He strikes me as the most real character in the book.

Rexi is a completely different story. She is one of the most annoying characters ever. She complains about everything and has super-sticky fingers. However, Dorthea sees her as the tie to her “real” life at the palace and so trusts and refuses to leave Rexi.

The adventures all start with an ill-worded wish Dorthea makes when she wants things to go her way. The wish goes completely haywire. Dorthea managed to disrupt the rules of Magic, turn her unwanted fiance into a baby chimera, and send her parents to Kansas.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Dorthea is running from an evil witch who wants her dead with only Rexi and her chimera fiance. Dorthea and company have no idea what is going on for quite a bit of the book which makes it a bit hard to follow when Dorthea is the narrator.

This book is really more of a light read with a lot of sarcasm thrown in. While Spelled will not earn a place on my favorites shelf, it was an enjoyable read to take my mind off some crazy stuff in my life.

Catholic Connections

*Spoiler Alert*
In order to analyze the text and make these connections, there may be some spoilers.
Please do not continue reading unless you have already read the book
or you don’t mind if you read some spoilers.
*Spoiler Alert*

Throughout the book Dorthea grows up quite a bit. She starts to take responsibility for her actions instead of relying on someone else to fix them for her. That shows some maturity and growth. She also comes to see Rexi and Kato as people rather than things to be used and discarded. In other words, Dorthea comes to respect the human dignity of her companions. That is pretty huge.

Dorthea also comes to see past appearances. She learns that people are not to be taken at face value. Some people she chooses to run away from become her greatest supporters later. She is able to see past Rexi’s servant status and she her as a person. She is able to see past Kato’s chimera shape to the young man underneath. These are epiphany moments.

There is the struggle against evil even when the evil is hiding in plain sight. The devil is crafty in his plan and so are some of the not so nice characters in this book. The line between good and evil isn’t always an easily discernable straight line as Dorthea learns through her mistakes.

I know that none of these comparisons are perfect and I doubt the author intended such connections. This is simply my own opinions and views on the matter.

Which Reading Challenges?

  • You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
  • Fairytale Retelling Challenge (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)


I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title nor the content of this review.

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