Title: The Emerald Wars
Author: Grace Watson
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 242 Pages
Category: Fantasy, Steampunk
At a Glance: Watson did a commendable job of pulling together a pastiche of L. Frank Baum’s treasured Oz tales and then gives the story some lovely twists, with plenty of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout that made me smile each time I caught the slightest nod to the story and characters we all know and love. I just enjoyed this book muchly.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: When Leonie escapes from her life as a servant in the Emerald City, all she wants is to find her place in the outside world. After being saved by rebel fighter Dorothy, she finds herself drawn into a mission to retrieve the stolen heart of the Tin Man. But something much more sinister is happening in Oz, and before long they find themselves working with the exiled Professor Crow to save their home from being destroyed from the inside out.
It’s a perilous journey that pushes them to their limits, but the four friends keep going in search of the things they need the most; wisdom, love, courage, and a home.
Review: “Once upon a time, a house dropped out of the sky, killing the Wicked Witch of the East, and a little girl stepped out. That’s the narrative. That’s the story I was given. But everyone’s tired of it—I’m tired of it—and maybe the story was always meant to end this way.” ~ Dorothy Gale
If there’s one sub-genre I can never get enough of, it’s steampunk. Throw in a ‘Once upon a time,’ and I’m right there. Grace Watson’s The Emerald Wars had me at steampunk, added a Wizard of Oz kicker, and then proceeded to take me on a really great adventure. This book is a lot of fun set in the essence of the familiar, but with enough fresh and imaginative details to give it its own flavor. Watson did a commendable job of pulling together a pastiche of L. Frank Baum’s treasured Oz tales and then offering readers some lovely twists along with plenty of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. It made me smile each time I caught the slightest nod to Baum’s tale and the characters we all know and love. I just enjoyed this book muchly.
Our beloved Dorothy and the Tin Man are integral to the tale, and yet they are not at all the characters you might expect. Dorothy is a rebel, a pretty badass freedom fighter who has committed herself to ridding Oz of the tyrannical Wizard as well as her second adversary, the Wicked Witch of the West, as those two are pitted against one another for control of the precious mineral Emeraze which allows Oz and the story its magic. The Witch of the East is already dead, of course, crushed upon Dorothy’s arrival from Kansas, and the Witch of the North also plays her own part in Dorothy’s life, but to reveal more on that would spoil too much of the story. Suffice it to say, the Good Witch is essential to Dorothy’s narrative, adding an emotional sting to this journey.
Leoni and Professor Crow round out the primary cast as we know them, just in different physical form. I admire Watson’s imagination and the way she worked in the thematic elements of courage and brains in the form of these two characters. Leoni is a runaway from the Emerald City, a servant to the evil Wizard’s system. She’s escaped his forges and meets Dorothy and the Tin Man when she’s caught by guards on the Yellow Brick Road, while Professor Crow is an integral cog in the Tin Man’s evolution from the human servant, Tollin, to the clockwork Tin Man, whose mechanical heart keeps him alive but doesn’t allow him the luxury of feelings: of joy, friendship, love or any other of the emotions we experience.
The Emerald Wars is more adventure than romance, but that’s not to say there isn’t a romantic undertone to the story. The Tin Man’s arc, in particular, gives the story its fairy tale quality, and those intimate relationships are as integral to the development of the characters as are the bonds of their friendship. True love, after all, is the most human of adventures.
You can buy The Emerald Wars here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B079S1LDWJ?d” style=”blue” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]