I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wicked Ones by Robin Benway
Series: Dark Ascension #1
Published by Disney Press on January 10, 2023
Genres: YA Retelling
Source: the publisher
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Find it:Goodreads, https://books2read.com/THE-WICKED-ONES
“Blood is blood…and one way or another, we all bleed.”
Drizella and Anastasia only know one thing for certain: they will never end up like their mother, Lady Tremaine. When their father left them as young girls, he took what was left of their family’s fortune and their mother’s dignity with him. A few years and one deceased stepfather later, the only version of Lady Tremaine that Drizella and Anastasia know is a bitter and cruel head of house. Anastasia and Drizella have promised themselves―and each other―that they’ll be different. They’ll find love, see the world, and never let their hearts go cold.
But both sisters are all too aware of what it can mean when cast into disfavor with their mother, and fueled by Lady Tremaine’s tendencies to pit the daughters against one another, Drizella and Anastasia are locked into a complicated waltz of tenuous sisterhood. On the cusp of the royal debut party―their one chance to impress the Prince and live up to their mother’s expectations―the sisters at last get a glimpse of what life could be like outside of Lady Tremaine’s intentions: Drizella discovering a love of science and Anastasia sparking a secret romance. But never underestimate the power a mother whose greatest talents lie in manipulation, and the sisters may learn that even the cruelest of hearts can spill blood.
This first book in the new Disney Villains Dark Ascension series by National Book Award-winning author Robin Benway explores the complex sibling rivalry between the two wicked stepsisters from Cinderella that turned them into the characters we know today.
I always love retellings, and I was excited for this villain tale. I haven’t read the other Disney Villain series that Disney has out, so I guess I was unsure just how this one would end up. I will say that I wished a little for a bit different ending, however it fit into what this story has always been and I guess how this series is going to go. I assume that the future books in the series will be other characters.
I’ve read some other retelling of Cinderella where we get a chance to feel for the stepsisters and see them in a different light and root for them. And we do get the chance to root for them in this one, to empathize. However, they do definitely do the things we think of from the movie/story, and do fit into the wicked/ugly stepsister category by the things they do. Even if they have reasons for why that you can kind of sympathize, they still go as far as expected from villains.
This was a fun story, with so many things I wasn’t expecting, different takes and details that I think really fleshed out these characters and the world they lived in perfectly. I look forward to reading more in the future, and am curious to see which villains will get the next story!
About the Author
Robin Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of eight novels for young adults, including Far From the Tree, Audrey, Wait!, the AKA series, and Emmy & Oliver. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including the PEN America Literary Award, the Blue Ribbon Award from the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults, and ALA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. In addition, her novels have received starred reviews from Bookpage, Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than 25 countries. Her sixth novel, Far From the Tree, won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the PEN America Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, Entertainment Weekly, and the Boston Globe. In addition to her fictional work, her non-fiction work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Bustle, Elle, and more. Her latest book, A Year To the Day, was published on June 21, 2022, and her next book, The Wicked Ones, the origin story of Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters, will be released by Disney Books on January 10, 2023.
Robin grew up in Orange County, California, attended NYU, where she was a recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing, and is a graduate of UCLA. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Hudson.
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1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE WICKED ONES, US Only.
Ends February 4th, midnight EST.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I like it when retellings are full of little details that connect it to the original story. Nice review, I haven’t read any of the Disney Villans series either.
Same! That makes the story for me when it’s something I am familiar with the original.
this cover is freaking adorable!!
It was a really good story too!