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Yellow Brick War
Dorothy Must Die series, book 3
by Danielle Paige
HarperCollins, $9.99, 304pp
Published: March 2017

Amy Gumm has grown up in ways she never expected in a place she never expected: Oz.  But the experience of learning how to wield magic and become a fearsome fighter has changed her significantly.

In the first book, Amy from Kansas was picked up by a tornado and deposited in Oz; but it was certainly not the technicolor Oz from the movies or anything like the Baum books.  This Oz was bleak and devastated by the predations of an evil Dorothy and Glinda who were busily sucking all the magic from land and torturing and killing along the way.  The Lion was bloodthirsty, the Scarecrow was a raving psychopath, and the Tin Woodman was totally heartless. 

Amy was recruited by the Order of the Wicked to help destroy Dorothy and save Oz.  The Order included Glamora, Glinda's wicked twin sister, and Mombi, a wicked witch.  The end of the first book had Amy back in dusty Kansas along with the Order and a weakened Dorothy.  Unfortunately, magic is hard to come by in Kansas and the Order didn't have enough to stop Dorothy from returning to Oz.  But the witches had come to believe that Dorothy's original silver shoes were still in Kansas.  And that Amy's high school is just about right on top of Auntie Em's and Uncle Henry's farm.  And maybe, just maybe, there might be enough magic in the shoes to help them.  So Amy has to go back to high school and home to her mother; neither of which is where she wants to be.

Many things have changed in the months she's been gone; things she would never have imagined: her mother got sober and her worst enemy in high school, Madison, now wants to be her friend.  And as it turns out, without Madison's help she would never have found the shoes.  But things went really badly when Amy's discovery of the shoes triggered some kind of magic alarm and a very bad man appeared threatening Amy.  But she saved herself and Nox by asking the shoes to take them back to Oz.  They met up with the Order just in time to have an epic battle with evil Dorothy and Glinda.  They managed to rescue the brainless Ozma but don't have a clue what to do with the erstwhile Queen of Oz.  But in the course of battle, Amy came to realize that the more she used magic, the more evil she began to feel.  It becomes a real fear that her silver shoes will cause her to become evil like Dorothy's ruby slippers did to her.  But there's also the problem that the silver shoes are somehow linked to the epically bad Nome King who apparently wants either Dorothy or Amy to be the Queen of Oz and he doesn't seem to care which one.

The battle spills over into the Emerald city; or what is left of it.  And, finally… Amy has the opportunity to do what she was brought to Oz to do, what the Order trained her do, what she had to do to save Oz and everyone:  kill Dorothy.  Fortunately for Amy, the decision was taken from her and events went as they would; with a happy ending for everyone but Dorothy.

But this story can't end with a happy ending; not with the Nome King threat looming over them.  Amy is willing to ignore him but he makes that impossible when he threatens her family and friends to blackmail her.  And it's the most surprising thing of all that ends up saving Amy, Nox and Madison.

This continued to be a really fun story with great character development and plot turns.  I'd like a bit more worldbuilding - more detail about Oz, but overall it's a good story.  The mystery of how and why Dorothy turned so evil and what changed everything remains a mystery; it's one of the reasons I need to keep reading. Amy continues to be the best thing in the story as she grows and matures.  ~~  Catherine Book

For more titles by Danielle Paige click here

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