Dorothy Must Die

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Dorothy Must Die
Dorothy Must Die book cover.jpg
First edition book cover
Author Danielle Paige
Country United States
Language English
Series Dorothy Must Die
Published 2014, HarperCollins
Media type Print, e-book, audiobook
Pages 464 pages
ISBN 978-0-06-228067-1
Preceded by No Place Like Oz
Followed by The Wicked Will Rise

Dorothy Must Die is a 2014 young adult book by Danielle Paige and her debut novel.[1] The book, which was produced through Full Fathom Five,[2] was released on April 1, 2014 through HarperCollins and was preceded by the novella No Place Like Oz.[3][4] Dorothy Must Die is the first book in the Dorothy Must Die series and The CW is currently in negotiations to produce a television series based upon the series.[5]


Amy Gumm, a high school student with a difficult life, discovers that the Land of Oz is real and it is her responsibility to defeat Dorothy, who has now become a maniacal dictator over the magical land.


In the first book of this retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz, Amy Gumm is a high school student in Kansas with a prescription-addicted, absent mother. Bullied by her classmates, Amy's sense of bitchy sarcasm makes her an outcast to everyone. A tornado whisks the trailer she calls home away and she finds herself in the land of Oz.

However, this is not the land of Oz that Amy thought she knew. Giant black holes pockmark the land, draining the magic out of it and filtering it into the now dictatorial Dorothy. Munchkin slaves are driven to drain the magic by the hand of Glinda the Good Witch and Dorothy rules with an iron fist. Oz has been twisted into a dark, misshapen thing and even the lovable character of the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodsman have been altered into power hungry, terrible beings.

After being held as a prisoner by Dorothy at the castle in Emerald City, Amy is rescued by a group calling themselves the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. The Order consists of three witches, including Glinda's twin sister Glamora, and a few teenagers close to Amy's age. They tell her that she is to kill Dorothy, and they will help her learn how to control her magic and weapons and do it.

Once she is deemed strong enough, the Order casts a spell over her to allow her to take the form of a servant girl within Dorothy's castle, and Amy infiltrates under the guise of Astrid. Once inside, she sees about getting close to the dictator and is briefly stationed as lady-in-waiting.

The monkeys take her to see the Wizard, who is now in possession of actual magic. He tells her that in order to be able to beat Dorothy, she is going to need to take the courage of the Lion, the brains of the Scarecrow, and the heart of the Tin Woodsman. At that moment, the Tin Woodsman appears to battle Amy and she cuts his heart from his chest. The Wizard fights off Glinda as Amy runs with the one true princess of Oz, Ozma, who has been hiding under the guise of the boy who pulled her from her trailer, as the books ends.

Main Characters[edit]

  • Amy Gumm - The protagonist of the story who's had a rough life with an alcoholic, pill-popping mother and being bullied in school. She's swept out of Kansas with her mother's pet rat Star and into Oz by a cyclone. Her sarcastic attitude gets her into trouble from time to time.
  • Madison Pendleton - A girl who has bullied Amy since elementary school and is now pregnant by her boyfriend whom Amy allows to cheat off her homework. A fight between the two girls causes Amy to be suspended from school.
  • Pete - A mysterious young boy who saves Amy when she arrives in Oz and pops in at different parts of the story.
  • Indigo - A spirited and bad-tempered goth punk munchkin who Amy meets and leads her to the Emerald City. She bears tattoos that tell the history of Oz before Dorothy's rule.
  • Ollie - A wingless talking monkey that Amy and Indigo save when he's strapped upside down to a pole for the crime of "Sass". He wants to save his little sister from the Scarecrow's experiment lab.
  • The Order of the Wicked - A group of witches that have formed an alliance and recruit Amy to kill Dorothy.
  • Gert - The former Good Witch of the North who is now a member of the Order of the Wicked. She's the nicest member of the group, encouraging Amy to improve when she initially fails during her training. She dies protecting Amy and Nox from the Lion.
  • Nox - Amy's love interest; a mysterious warlock who's part of the Order.
  • Glamora - Glinda's twin sister who is the third member of the Order. Her so-called "Good" sister gave her a nasty scar many years ago that Glamora covers with magical makeup.
  • Mombi - The fourth member of the Order who rescues Amy from the Emerald City's dungeon and brings her to the other witches.
  • Dorothy - The antagonist of the story, Dorothy is no longer the sweet, kind-hearted farm girl of The Wizard Of Oz. Now she's a highly sexualized, power hungry tyrant who's ruined Oz, zapping the land of most of its magic. Her frequent mood swings and cruel punishments leave her subjects constantly on edge. Though she donned silver shoes during her first time in Oz, she now wears ruby slippers that she never takes off.
  • Scarecrow - No longer satisfied with the brains given to him by the Wizard, the Scarecrow performs barbaric experiments on winged monkeys and takes bits of their brains for himself.
  • Tin Man - His tin body is now monstrous with knives for fingers. Despite his evil actions, he has an unrequited love for Dorothy. The princess is aware of it, but disgusted by him.
  • Lion - No longer a coward, the Lion is now a blood hungry, super buff beast who kills people by literally draining the fear out of them.
  • Glinda - The Good Witch of the South who has aligned with Dorothy and forces young Munchkin children to mine for magic by use of a violent, seesaw-like machine. Her mouth is permanently shaped into a grotesque grin by use of a new invention called Perma-smile.
  • Ozma - The former princess of Oz usurped by Dorothy after her return to Oz. Subjects outside of the Emerald City haven't seen her in years, but those who live and work in the palace see an Ozma who is vacant and bubble-headed. A shell of her former self.
  • Jellia Jamb - Dorothy's top maid. Her sweet, bubbly persona masks a fear of her mistress though she does everything in her power to please her.
  • Star- Amy Gumm's mother's pet rat. Accompanies Amy in Oz after both of them are taken by the twister to Oz. Eaten by the cowardly lion in The Wicked Will Rise.


A prequel, No Place Like Oz, was released in e-book format on November 12, 2013 through HarperCollins.[6] The story is set before the events in Dorothy Must Die but after Dorothy's first trip to Oz. It follows Dorothy as she decides to return to Oz, as she misses the adventure, fame, and vibrancy of the magical world. Her life in Kansas is lackluster and Dorothy decides that she will return to Oz, regardless of the cost to others. Another prequel story, The Witch Must Burn, was later published, with a third, The Wizard Returns, published with the first two in book form in March 2015. The fourth novella, Heart of Tin, was released on July 28, 2015. The fifth novella, The Straw King, will be released on November 10, 2015, with the six novella Ruler of Beasts to be released on February 16, 2016.. The three will be released in a paperback book titled "Dorothy Must Die Stories" volume 2. Amazon has listed a seventh novella available for pre-order, to be released at a date yet-to-be-determined.

The novellas are in the following order

Dorothy Must Die Stories 0.1 No Place Like Oz 0.2 The Witch Must Burn 0.3 The Wizard Returns

Dorothy Must Die Stories Volume 2 (Feb 2016) 0.4 Heart of Tin

0.5 The Straw King

Plot- The story starts out with Scarecrow reading a book on a hidden district of the talking pastries. He and the lion are having a conversation about when the Lion will be eating. As they begin to argue over when the proper time to eat is, bullets fly through the glass windows. The Emerald Palace is under attack. Scarecrow looks out the window to see General Jinjur standing with her army behind her. She wants to take over the Emerald City, and Oz. She and her army keep firing on the palace while the Scarecrow runs to fetch a book on all of the tyrants in the land. He reads a small biography about her leadership skills but the reading does not help him much. Scarecrow then goes to the window, knowing he can not be shot, and begins to argue with the General.

0.6 Ruler of Beasts


A sequel titled The Wicked Will Rise was published on March 30, 2015, following the events of Dorothy Must Die. The third installment of the series titled Yellow Brick War will be published on March 15, 2016.


Nerdist gave Dorothy Must Die a positive review, commenting that "In less skilled hands, all this could make for a trite take on well-worn territory. But Paige gives Amy a strong voice and an even stronger point of view."[7] Kirkus Reviews gave a mostly positive review, stating "In the end, it’s just another violent dystopian series opener for all its yellow-brick veneer, but it’s a whole lot more fun than many of its ilk."[8] A senior editor for the School Library Journal praised the work as being "gory, grim, and fast-paced".[9]


  1. ^ "'Dorothy Must Die' series gives Oz heroine a wicked spin". USA Today. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Latest Wizard of Oz TV Project Dorothy Must Die Catches The CW's Eye". Dread Central. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lee, Stephan. "HarperCollins announces Oz-inspired series 'Dorothy Must Die'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Dorothy Must Die' Will Change How You Feel About Oz". MTV. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ "CW In Talks For ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama Produced By ‘Heroes’ Creator Tim Kring". Deadline. Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "‘Heroes’ Creator Tim Kring in Talks With The CW For ‘Wizard of Oz’ Series". CBR. Archived from the original on September 13, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Herstick, Lauren. "Book Review: DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige". Nerdist. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ "DOROTHY MUST DIE (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mapping Our Worlds". SLJ. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 

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