Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

The basics

Title: Dorothy Must Die


Series: Dorothy Must Die #1

- Dorothy Must Die (April 2014)
- The Wicked Will Rise (March 2015)
- Untitled (2017)

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Goodreads Summary:

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

Read a full summary of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige below. If you can’t remember what happened in Dorothy Must Die and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

A huge thank you goes out to Katie Fatiga of I Teach YA, who did an amazing job of recapping this book.

in short

Amy Gumm’s life in Flat Hills Kansas just plain sucks. So you would think that a deadly tornado that picks her up and deposits her onto the cusp of a large, dark canyon far-far away would be just add to life’s suckiness, well you would be wrong, kinda. Amy ends up in Oz after her little twister-trip. She is rescued from the edge of danger by a mysterious boy just to have him disappear. Alone with no other choice, Amy follows the Yellow Brick Road (naturally) and realizes this is unlike any Oz she has seen in the movies or read about in books. It is desolate and oppressed. She runs into a reluctant goth munchkin and a wingless flying monkey before being hauled into the Emerald city by a super-intimidating tin army. She is brought before Dorothy (a shinier, sexier Dorothy) who immediately takes an interest in this girl from the “other place” and chucks Amy in a cell. Lucky for Amy the mysterious boy returns and she is eventually rescued by a super-old witch named Mombi. Mombi takes Amy to secret Wicked witch headquarters where she trained by a bevy of witchy types for the sole purpose of killing Dorothy. Amy gets stronger, learns a little bit about who she is as a person and eventually learns to use the magic around her. In a showdown with the Lion, one of Amy’s mentors, Grandma Gert is killed. Shortly after, Amy is placed back in the Emerald Palace (under the disguise of a maid) to gather intelligence and obviously kill Dorothy.

what happened in Dorothy Must Die?

  • Amy Gumm is “Salvation Amy” from Flat Hill, Kansas.
  • Her mom has been a total washout since dad left them, the car accident that left her in constant pain has also left her a drug-addled zombie, most of the time.
  • Then there’s Madison Pendleton, the glittery, barbie-pink popular girl hell-bent on making Amy’s life infinitely more miserable.
  • So when Amy is sent home from school in the middle of a tornado watch for allegedly punching a VERY pregnant Madison, not even mom bats an eye, she just leaves.
  • Alone (with the exception of the less than loyal pet rat, Star) Amy’s trailer is whisked away to what she can only assume is utter doom. WRONG!
  • Amy’s trailers is plopped right into the middle of Oz, but it is unlike the Oz Amy has seen in the movies or read in stories. It is a barren wasteland that she almost succumbs to right from the start where her trailer teeters at the edge of a huge black hole.
  • Lucky for Amy, a mysterious boy with glowing green eyes pulls her to safety just in time. But he disappears almost as quickly as he appeared.
  • With no other option, Amy follows the Yellow Brick Road toward the only place she can assume it leads, the Emerald City.
  • On her way she runs into an abandoned Munchkin village. There, she meets Indigo. The tattooed, goth Muchkin wants nothing to do with Amy but ends up following her regardless.
  • Amy stumbles onto a magic-mining operation. Here munchkins serve Dorothy by teeter-tottering on a sky-high playground apparatus that pulls magic out of the very ground. This is all overseen by none other than Glinda the “good” witch of the South.
  • Indigo saves Amy from an encounter with this less than good witch and fills her in on some of the uncharacteristic changes here to this modern Oz: Dorothy came back, she is magic-crazy and never have enough, she is depleting the land of all the magic it has, her “friends” the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, Lion and Glinda now serve Dorothy’s maniacal cause as does every citizen of OZ (if they know whats good for them.
  • On their journey to the Emerald city, Amy and Indigo come upon a wingless monkey attached to pole. Amy’s compassion wills her to free him (much to Indigo’s warning not to).
  • The monkey, Ollie, joins their troupe headed for the palace. And when Amy runs into a forest of delicious-looking apples, she cannot help her hunger and takes a bite.
  • This triggers the onslaught of the Tin Woodman and his tin army of half-humans half-machines. They capture Amy and turn Indigo into a puddle of goo (Ollie manages to escape).
  • Amy is taken into Dorothy (a much shinier, sexier Dorothy) whose interest is peaked by this girl with a similar story to her own. So she throws her into a door-less cell to await her “fate worse than death.”
  • On the verge of going crazy, Amy is visited by the mysterious boy who saved her from her trailer on her first day in Oz.
  • He remains mysterious but does provide her with some needed conversation and a kitchen knife (her only weapon against the Tin Woodman when he eventual comes for her)
  • Luckily, just as the Tin Woodman and his tin army arrive for Amy, so does the very old and possibly very wicked witch, Mombi. The two fight off the Tin Woodman’s goons and eventually Amy agrees to join Mombi, uncertain, however, of with this bond will actually entail.
  • She is then transported in a cloud of purple smoke out of her cell and into a very dark cavern. This is the head quarters of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, a band of “wicked” witches who have come together with the sole purpose of eliminating Dorothy, cause nothing brings people together quite like mutual hatred.
  • Amy is greeted by another “wicked” witch who refers to herself as Grandma Gert. Gert heals Amy’s wounds from her scuffle with the Tin Woodman in the cave’s magical spring. It is not a pleasant healing but does the job.
  • The resident members of the Order take turns educating Amy on the skills it will take to make her a good bad witch. Glamora, Glinda’s “wicked” twin sister educates Amy in the art of etiquite and how to hold herself in Dorothy’s presence (she also whips up one magical makeover). Nox, another mysteriously handsome boy-witch, teaches Amy how to fight. And Gert attempts to have Amy channel her inner-self so as to grasp the magic all around her.
  • Amy eventually excels at everything with the exception of the whole magic-bit. She can’t seem to figure out who she is away from where she has come from and it is blocking her magical destiny.
  • A major breakthrough in magic-making occurs when Nox goads Amy into a fit of rage using taunts from her past. The problem is, magic created in anger can be very unreliable in the hands of people from the “other place” and Gert quickly discourages it.
  • Lessons continue, Amy grows stronger, she gains new sparing partners when two more witches join the group. Annabel and Melindra who has half a tin face (experimented on by the Scarecrow).
  • Finally it is decided that Amy is ready to join the mission, the Lion is getting too close to the witches’ secret lair and needs be stopped before he devours another town full of people.
  • Amy is gifted a magical knife, carved by Nox, that she can summons at her time of greatest need.
  • Mombi, Gert, Nox and Amy fly off to the town of Pumperdink to stop the Lion. The group splits up so the elderly witches can take care of the town children while Amy and Nox locate the Lion.
  • Amy and Nox oversee the Lion using his magic on the townspeople. He is able to feed on their fear, extracting it like blood.
  • Amy and Nox blow their cover and the Lion sends his animal goons after them. A fight ensues and the two are almost done for. Luckily, Gert shows up just in time and sucks all of the fear from the Lion. He is severely wounded by Nox’s sword but ends slinking away. Unfortunately, Gert is mortally wounded by the shear effort it takes to destroy the Lion. She is commanded back into the land by Mombi.
  • The disheartened witches return to the cave. Amy is ready to complete her mission. She is sent to the Emerald Palace under the magical disguise of a main, Astrid. While there, she has no contact with the Order but is told there are eyes in the Palace watching her and waiting for the right moment to set their plan in motion.
  • On her first night in the palace, Amy accidentally runs into Ozma in the kitchens. Ozma is the true princess of Oz but she is rarely seen and possibly addled by some type of magic. Amy can’t be sure, but Ozma may be able to see past the magic that has disguised her as Astrid, though she promises she won’t tell.
  • Amy learns the ins and outs of the palace life and how to be a maid (a very robotic and monotonous job). She is extremely lonely and worried that the Order has forgotten her. She has a spot of luck when she is invited to be Dorothy ‘s personal maid for a day. Unfortunately it does not go well. Amy is so distracted by Dorothy’s magical ruby slippers that she causes her friend and co-maid Jellia to drop nail polish on the rug, thus ensuing Dorothy’s wrath.
  • Amy is able to do a bit of eves dropping upon the unexpected arrival of the Wizard and learns that he is allowed to practice magic but is not trusted by Dorothy. Amy tries to sneak back into Dorothy’s solarium to use the magical painting but is stopped by the Wizard himself. He talks to her in some sort of coded message but Amy is not sure if she can trust him.
  • Later Amy is surprised to be joined in her maids quarters by Pete, the handsome stranger who saved her from her trailer when she first arrived in Oz. She does not know how he knew she was in the palace, let alone how he knew she was even Amy (as she has been disguised as Astrid the entire time).
  • While delivering hay to the Scarecrow’s quarters, Amy runs into an ugly little maid trying to sneak into the room. It turns out to be Ollie (the monkey from the Yellow Brick Road) who is trying to find his sister. The Scarecrow has taken her prisoner to use her brain for some nefarious plans. Amy agrees to help him find and save her.
  • Amy steals the master key from Jellia, uses the magic painting to locate Ollie’s sister, Maude, and sets a distraction fire in the Scarecrows bed chambers.
  • While the guards are distracted with the fire, Amy sets off for the garden house and the Scarecrow’s secret laboratory. She is able to sneak through the guard of crows and find Maude. She narrowly escapes being found by the Scarecrow by teleporting herself and the monkey out of the lab. She meets Ollie in a field in the gardens where her loyalty and willingness to cut Maude’s wings off (thus disconnecting her from Dorothy’s magical control) earn Amy the admiration of Ollie and the Wingless Ones (his band of monkey brethren). He and Maude leave her with a magical arrow in the event that she ever need to find them.
  • Back in the palace, the Scarecrow is in a rage about the loss of the monkey. The Tin Woodman interrogates all the servants and ransacks their rooms. Luckily they find nothing in Amy’s room and somehow Star is able to hide herself in a crevice in the floor.
  • Star lead Amy on a wild goose chase through the palace and into the garden’s hedge maze where she meets Pete again at the center of the maze. He tells her that the maze is a safe place and that even Dorothy is afraid to enter it. With a final “trust no one,” he bids her farewell and jumps into the shallow fountain, disappearing.
  • The staff is later rounded up for the public shaming of the suspect in the monkey-escape debacle. Jellia is accused of the crime and does not shirk from the responsibility. She rises up to her full posture, conjuring magic and rallying the other Ozians to join the Order in their plans to take down Dorothy. Everyone panics and Jellia is taken to be experimented on by the Scarecrow.
  • Amy heads back to her room where she is joined by a surprise guest, Nox. Amy is relieved to see a friend but furious for being left in the dark for so long. Nox is also furious that Amy may have ruined the entire plan by rescuing the monkey and putting Jellia’s life in danger.
  • The new plan entails infiltrating the upcoming ball and finding some way to off Dorothy while members of the Order cast wards to eliminate magic on the grounds of the Palace.

how did it end

In the end, the final showdown begins as Amy makes her way towards Dorothy during the ball. After a fashion mishap, Amy accompanies Dorothy to her private dressing room. There Amy attempts to kill Dorothy using her now non-magical knife but is thwarted by Toto, Dorthy’s trusty terrier. A chase ensues and Dorothy and Amy end up on the tower roof where they are joined by the Tin Woodman. Amy decides the only way to finish Dorothy off is to plunge both herself and the wicked princess over the side of the tower. As they fall, magic returns and Dorothy is able to transport herself somewhere else while Amy continues to plummet to her death. Luckily, Amy’s monkey companions, Ollie & Maude have been keeping close tabs on her and swoop to her rescue just at the right moment. They have constructed new wings using paper-mache and a little bit of magic. They deposit Amy into the garden where she encounters the Wizard once again. After a bit of exposition where Amy learns that they key to eliminating Dorothy may be in ousting her friends first, she removes the heart from the Tin Woodsman. Pete is revealed to have been Princess Ozma (rightful ruler of Oz) in disguise the whole time. The Wizard holds off the wrath of Glinda the not-so-good witch while Amy, Ozma and the monkeys escape to who knows where and with three evil Ozians left to eliminate (The Scarecrow, The Lion and of course Dorothy must die).

anything else?

Revolutionary Order of the Wicked or just “The Order”: band of witches who’ve come together to eliminate Dorothy. Members include Mombi, Glamora, Gert, Nox, Annabel, Melindra, Amy

The Wingless Ones: band of monkeys who voluntarily cut off their wings to rid themselves of Dorothy’s control

Oz: far away land full of magic

Munchkins: relatively small people of Oz

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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