Banished by Betsy Schow
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on February 6th 2018
Series: The Storymakers #3
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 336 pages Source: NetGalley
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In the magical conclusion to the Storymakers trilogy, which began with Spelled, can Princess Dorthea and Rexi get the land of Story its happy ending?
While lying in the hospital in a place called Kansas, Princess Dorthea of Emerald struggles to regain her memory of the events that propelled her out of the land of Story—and to remember how to get home.
Meanwhile, in Story, Rexi, with the help of Excalibur, continues to gain confidence in writing her own tale as she fights to save the land from the Wicked Witch. But as is always the case with evil villains, she is not to be underestimated. Can Dorthea and Rexi save their home while protecting the prince they both love from getting caught in the crossfire?
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Well. This book was silly.
Princess Dorothea of Emerald (sometimes called Dot) is trapped in Kansas, a terrible place without magic and with terrible fashion sense. She’s trapped in a mental hospital where she talks to a doctor who isn’t a psychiatrist, gets chemo treatments that are actually green sludge, and is repeatedly told she’s crazy and beyond hope. It is, frankly, a terrible representation of both a mental hospital and cancer patient treatments. Fortunately, the hospital staff is completely incompetent and Dorothea manages to escape and go to a club where she asks someone to commission her a pair of magic shoes.
If the cover wasn’t a clue, the girls in this book are obsessed with their accessories.
Meanwhile, in the Story world, Rexi (daughter of Robin Hood) is actually King Arthur and wilder of Excalibur. She’s on a fated journey to save Story and bring Dot back from Oz. Her traveling companions include Mordred, who speaks why many thy/thou/thines, and Hydra who swaps out heads at random so she can become many different creatures.
It’s a chaotic and wild adventure, but it’s a bit ridiculous and pointless. As far as I can tell, the third book in this series is simply to return things to normal after the other books messed everything up. It’s a tidy wrap up sort of book.
The author worked really hard to incorporate as many references to other fairytales/animated children’s films as possible. It felt like talking to someone who likes to name drop. We’ve got everything from Tinkerbell to Malevolent (I’m assuming this is Maleficent but that’s copyrighted?). Some of the mentions are smooth and clever while others are awkward. The quotes before each chapter are clever, if a bit excessive.
This book is marketed as YA, but I think reader on the older end of this spectrum will be turned off by the shallow characters and plot line. I do think that an older middle grade reader would enjoy the fairytale romp, especially if they are fond of magic and fancy shoes.