Mini Review--The Straw King by Danielle Paige

Once upon a time, the Scarecrow's only wish was to have a brain. This digital original novella is the fifth installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and thrilling New York Times bestsellers Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise and follows the Scarecrow after he finally gets his wish.

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow received the gift of a brain from the Wizard and was appointed the new ruler of Oz. In The Straw King, the Scarecrow's tale takes a crooked turn when his reign is threatened. With faith in his newfound wisdom shaken, the Scarecrow will turn to anyone who can help—even if others have their own interests at heart. 

The Straw King by Danielle Paige is a dark and compelling reimagining of a beloved classic and is perfect for fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Beastly by Alex Flinn, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.




The Straw King is yet another installment in the 7 part prequel set of novellas by Danielle Paige! In these novellas we basically see what was happening in Oz after Dorothy left. In The Straw King we focus on the Scarecrow.

I sometimes forget how different the movie Wizard of Oz is compared to the books. I never did read all the books about Oz, but I feel like I get the general idea about them through these stories. There’s mentioning of places and events that feel familiar, but yet weren’t ones I am aware of. No matter, that’s not really necessary to know in order to enjoy this story.

In this one we see the Scarecrow trying to read and learn as much as he can about Oz in order to be a fit king. But no sooner than when he starts, Oz is attacked by Jinjur and her army and soon the Scarecrow and the Lion are fleeing the palace. They will have to work together along with his subjects from the forest and a set of flying monkeys in order to get the palace back. But while Scare has ideas on how to go about doing that, no one feels like listening. Except for Glinda.

Glinda is the only one willing to listen, but even then she really doesn’t hear what Scare is saying and basically lets him in on her plans. I felt like in this one we didn’t really learn much about Scare as a character. He’s a freaky scientist dude cutting into people’s brains in the series itself, but in this one, we just see him as wanting to read and learn. Perhaps that’s a good precursor for his soon to be diabolical character, but it just wasn’t enough of an “ahh, I see” moment.

We do see how some things get set into motion for when Dorothy comes back to Oz, but it’s been so long since I’ve read the second book, I can’t quite put things together as well as I should be. I really regret not taking better notes up until a few reads ago. But live and learn I guess!

The Straw King was yet another interesting novella, but didn’t really give me the hidden insight or backstory that I had been hoping for. But it was still pretty entertaining, for I feel like we’re getting to know the Scarecrow before he becomes an evil whack-job…almost like Gotham in a way, with Ed and seeing him before he turns into the Riddler! LOL!


Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars






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