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.
Danielle Paige continues telling the story behind how Dorothy came back to Oz in her best-selling Dorothy Must Die series. Ruler of the Beasts explores what the Lion was up to during her absence and his story, at least, was much more interesting than the Scarecrow’s.
The Lion is getting bored with being the King of the Beasts. Life just isn’t as fun when there’s no adventure to be had. So when Glinda asks a favor of him; namely to find a powerful necklace that’s hidden somewhere in the Emerald Palace, the Lion figures why not? He’ll have to befriend Ozma and hope that she might know where the mysterious necklace is.
Before he knows it though, the Lion is starting to see Ozma as a friend. One he’d do just about anything for. Including trying to outsmart one her enemies. But he still keeps his initial motives a secret from her.
I found myself sympathizing for the Lion towards the end of this one, but then at the same time, realized he put himself in his predicament. And then of course, I also remember that all the cheerful friends Dorothy made are downright evil in the series itself. In a sense, it makes it hard to sympathize for any of them throughout this last set of novellas. Although, I still never quite understood what made Glinda snap and turn out the way she did. Unless she really was always that way and we never saw it. But I digress.
Each of these novellas is like a piece of a puzzle that tells us how Dorothy came back to Oz. Though, our first prequel novella really does tell us that, these other novellas actually seem to come before that despite the order Goodreads dictates. And even the Tin Woodman’s story kind of falls into place after Dorothy’s return…so the order of novellas is a bit of a mess, but really since I’m reading them in the order they release vs timeline order, it doesn’t seem to matter in the long run! They’re still enjoyable in a little way! I’ll be curious to see what the last novella will entail though since we’ve already gotten to Dorothy coming back to Oz in these novellas. Only time will tell I guess!
Overall Rating 4/5 stars