Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fantastic Fairy Tales - Spelled by Betsy Schow

Published June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 352
Copy: Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

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.

Spelled was an interesting, slightly twisted mash-up that includes uncountable numbers of fairy tales and popular stories that we think of as fairy tales (Wizard of OZ) .  Ms Schow has very deftly put everything together into a cohesive whole that was fun to read.  It was very cleverly done and at times was laugh out loud funny.  The best descriptive for me would be a comedy of errors.  If anything could go wrong, it did, and Dorothea, Kato and the rest of her entourage had a hard time getting to the bottom of things.

I really did enjoy the story, but unfortunately, for me, I began to feel as if the author was trying too hard.  There was a point when I found myself thinking 'how many more fairy tales can she bring into this.'  It's very hard to pin down where my enthusiasm waned, but I found myself picking up other books to give myself a break.  and it took me quite a while to finish.

Final verdict - it was ok, and quite amusing, but I felt it had something missing.  As I'm writing this down I'm realising that part of my problem was that it seemed aimed at a much younger audience than I was expecting.  Maybe that was it?  Let me know what you thought.  


  1. I am always slightly hesitant when reading fairy tale adaptations, especially because I feel that authors at times push it too far. This sounds like a really fun idea for an adaptation but it's a shame it became a bit too much. I will probably give it a miss but thanks for your review :)
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. This were my feeling almost exactly. It was a fun read and i enjoyed the fairy tale mashup aspect, but it did feel a bit much by the end. There was so much going on and it got a little over the top. But it was cute and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

    Cayt @ Vicarious Caytastrophe