by Grace Watson
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.
'The Emerald Wars' is inspired by L. Frank Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'.
Emerald Wars is set in Oz, but beyond borrowing the land and world, diverges from there. The Wizard has made himself king, and Dorothy has become a rebel set on taking him down. Leonie, newly escaped from the Emerald City, finds herself caught up in the cause.
This is a heartfelt story of love beyond rote definition. While there are no in process romances developing, two stories take center stage. Dorothy’s own and that of the Tin Man. I thought Dorothy’s was sad, but didn’t engage with it on a deep level. The Tin Man’s, however, is revealed gradually in little flashbacks that are simply charged with emotion. The tragedy and the triumph of this relationship were the highpoints of this story for me.
I thought the action and dialog were very well done, though near the end when there were more players involved, I got lost and had to backtrack a couple of times to see who did or said what. The technology and magic systems were also an intriguing twist on the original stories. Definitely caught and held my interest.
On the other hand, the author’s views and message bled into the story so much that, at times, it took over rather than just support the plot. I also thought that some of the resolutions were just a bit too tidy and easy to be believed. It was sort of like a character shouting, “This is unfair,” and then everyone agreeing with them and the day is saved.
As for the quality of the book, I’d say it’s good. Aside from a few grammar issues near the end, it’s pretty well edited, and the story is well organized and sticks to a main theme.
Overall, I really liked this book. I think folks who enjoy LGBT themed stories in familiar fantasy settings might enjoy this.
I received the review copy of this book from the author.
~~Find Emerald Wars Here~~
About the Author:
Born in the North-East of England, Grace grew up in the Black Country and currently lives in Wales, where she is studying music and training as a classical singer. After spending her teenage years writing fan-fiction she published her first novel, The Story of Lizzy and Darcy, in 2017. She has too many books, not enough cats, and an alarmingly large collection of ceramic owls.