The Wicked Will Rise: Dorothy Must Die, Book 2

Book review by
Julie A. Carlson, Common Sense Media
The Wicked Will Rise: Dorothy Must Die, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Amy and her quest take a darker turn in imaginative sequel.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers can compare the characters, plot, and world building in The Wicked Will Rise with those of the classic book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and movie The Wizard of Oz.

Positive Messages

Strong messages about the importance of friendship, love, anti-bullying, helping others, standing up for yourself, taking control of your own life and path, believing in yourself. We always have a choice. Don't let others dictate your life. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

After her trip to Oz in Dorothy Must Die, Amy is a changed person; being wicked is starting to consume her. A pivotal event at the beginning of the novel leads her on a path of revenge. She wants to carry out the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked's mission to kill Dorothy, but she's starting to lose control and has angry and violent outbursts, leaving those around her to question her and give her advice. One friend tells her: "Remember, don't be wicked -- unless you have to!" But many of the creatures and magical beings of Oz, who are unhappy with Dorothy's evil ways, want Amy to protect them, which fuels Amy's goal and magical power. Nox, Amy's love interest, is always there for her and worries about her. Amy and Nox protect their friends at all costs. 

Some violent and disturbing scenes. Two characters die through magic; one is eaten. Amy slashes a character with a knife and punches a wall. A prisoner is chained. There are plenty of monsters and some sword fighting, hand-to-hand combat, stabbing, and descriptions of blood and gore.

Two brief kisses.


"F--king," "bitch," "pissed," "a--hole," "s--t," "stupid," "crap," "shut up."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character smokes "rainbows" -- actual rainbows. It's not explained how this affects him. Someone asks if they're cigarettes, and he explains that they're not and that cigarettes are bad for you.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Wicked Will Rise is the second book in the bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz books and the 1939 film. After her adventures in the first book, Amy Gumm continues her journey through Oz to steal the Lion's courage and the Scarecrow's brains and to kill Dorothy. She's also searching for her fellow members of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked and her love interest, Nox. There are two kissing scenes. Amy encounters new magical lands and creatures, and there are a couple of violent scenes -- two characters are killed through use of magic, and one is eaten -- and descriptions of blood and gore, hand-to-hand combat, sword fighting, and stabbing with a sword. Strong language includes "f--king" and "s--t." The Wicked Will Rise is for fantasy fans who like darker tones and horror elements. The third book in the series, Yellow Brick War, comes out March 15, 2016.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written by25mecool19 October 14, 2019
it's awesome book i loved it:)
Teen, 14 years old Written bygreenloversara July 18, 2015

What's the story?

Amy Gumm is still trapped in Oz, and Dorothy is still alive. Along with Ollie, Maude, and Ozma, Amy ends up in the Queendom of the Wingless, where she must figure out how to save the Revolutionary of the Wicked, search for Nox, and complete her mission by killing Dorothy. Amy also must learn to fight the darkness consuming her before she truly becomes something she most fears: being wicked.

Is it any good?

This series is brilliantly developed, and the world of Oz leaps off the page in vivid color, lush descriptions, and characterization. The Wicked Will Rise starts off right where Dorothy Must Die ends. Amy leaves behind the Emerald City and discovers more places and creatures in Oz. Though readers might miss the Emerald City, author Danielle Paige continues to bring imaginative new landscapes into the picture. We also meet the hilariously trash-talking monkey, Lulu, Queen of the Queendom of the Wingless; Bright, who smokes rainbows, and his girlfriend, Polychrome; and Heathcliff on the Island of Lost Things. Readers encounter the evil Dorothy, the Lion, and Glinda, who is definitely not the Good Witch. The villains and monsters are pure evil but also have some funny lines. Their brutality and quest to hurt others for the sake of their own power will make readers cheer for Amy on her mission to save Oz.

Younger readers might cringe that the heroine is starting to become as violent as the villains. Yet there's a part of Amy that holds back, is afraid, and questions her mission, which makes her likable and multidimensional. The Wicked Will Rise is an action-packed story that ends with a cliffhanger, making readers eager for the next installment: Yellow Brick War, to be published March 15, 2016.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the Land of Oz and the characters in the Dorothy Must Die series are different from Frank L. Baum's original novels. Have you read the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz books or seen the 1939 movie? How do you like author Danielle Paige's version of Oz, her twist on the iconic characters, and the new characters she's created?

  • Do you think Oz and the darkness of the world is starting to consume Amy? Do you feel she should continue the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked's mission to kill Dorothy, or can she change Oz without committing murder? What would you do in her place?

  • How do you feel about the cliffhanger? Will you read the next novel to see what happens?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

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