“No need to panic. I was the heroine in this story, so everything would get fixed somehow.” — Betsy Schow (Spelled)
This post may contain spoilers.
Spelled is a twist on the classic fairy tales. It stars Dorthea, the very spoiled princess of Emerald. She’s been stuck inside her kingdom’s castle her entire life due to an impending curse on the girls of the Emerald family. No one is sure which generation will inherit the curse, so better safe than sorry.
The lucky winner of the curse is, of course, Dorthea.
Through an ill-worded wish, Dorthea brings hell to her kingdom, making her parents vanish, destroying her castle and the guests within it, and being stuck on a journey with a couple of companions — one of which is her transformed betrothed Prince Kato — that she’d rather be without. The entire journey is filled with puns, play-on words and locations, from all sorts of beloved fairy tales, and it was fun reading through these unique twists.
Dorthea, however, was not a reason as to why I kept reading. She was the picture of a spoiled rotten princess. She was egotistical, shallow, and selfish. Her first thoughts were always about herself and, “as the heroine” of the story, everything should work out just fine. Of course, she redeems herself with the help of her allies by the end of the story, but it was really due to the side characters and the funny, unique twists to the fairy tales that kept me reading.
Generally, I need to be invested in the main character in order to keep reading a story. Dorthea was not that kind of character at all, and there were a few times that I almost closed the book. Overall, however, the book wasn’t too bad, and anyone who has fun reading fairy tale retellings will probably find this book a worthwhile pick-up.
“Spelled” gets a 3 out of 5 stars.