Well, I'll try to give the least amount of spoilers possible, since this is the very last book of the 4-book series. Amy Gumm has impersonated a maid of the great Dorothy, battled evil sorcerers, killed almost every character we cherish from the original story, been with both flying monkeys and an Order out to kill Dorothy, and thought she finally had Dorothy crumble when the big Emerald Castle was obliterated. But there's another antagonist, The Nome King, who's the ruler of a city across Oz's desert, which I'd describe like a cross between an aunt's cushiony living room and a region-size spider web. Amy, the stoic and no-nonsense Nox, and her former enemy Madison Pendleton, are whisked away to the castle of this place, where it's up to only the three of them to finish the Yellow Brick War.
Dorothy Must Die was a terrific Oz retelling with a couple of holes in its coat but enough to hold in the straw. I wasn't a fan of The Wicked Will Rise, a book that went off the rails in the first few pages and never patched itself back up. Yellow Brick War was a big improvement, a 4/4 book up until a plot point with one of my favourite characters and when I came to the fact the new villain seemed shoehorned in at this rate. But I'll undeniably admit the books have addictively odd covers and titles that beg a reading, and in the end I'm glad I met this series, and I'm certainly recommending it to YA and The Wizard of Oz fans.
The End of Oz maintains a plot that makes it one of the easiest books of the year to turn, just like Yellow Brick War, and for the first time ever, it switches views, which normally feels unnecessary and it felt unnecessary here at first but Danielle Paige knew what she was doing. This book not only understands the precautions of starting something up in the final book, but also uses it as a weapon to make a nice stab.
Sadly, like Yellow Brick War, the fact that this is a short book is not really a compliment from me this time. As a result, I felt there was far from enough time to wrap things up properly, be in places and do things that make it seem like it's in the Dorothy Must Die universe, and as much as the ending was satisfactory and surprising on a grand scale, this book felt like it was originally 380 pages, not 280, and it was shortened down, cutting off elements I wanted, especially since this was the last book. In fact, I'd say Amy is in this book for only about 160 pages. And the shortness of this book just made me want...more. I've gotten used to a lot more happening in one book over the years. Look, the big climax this book has was more than satisfactory, but after 4 books, the resolution to everything felt too passive. At the very least, a character that was thrown away in a bad way in Yellow Brick War slightly returns and I gave Danielle Paige a few props for that.
Here's the best way I can explain the best parts of this conclusion to the series. It's different. The extra viewpoint lets us go into a character that's corrupt but is placed into a situation that makes this character powerless, giving a chance for this person to reflect. Then when everything wraps up, it actually made me a little bit depressed. The idea was just a little icky. There was also a situation where Amy describes a character when she thinks of, well, bubbles. That made me think: "Wait! Is this character alive if this is what Paige is claiming to have happened?" The book didn't give itself enough pages to tell me. But I'm still giving The End of Oz a positive review to break the tie because putting it down was very hard.
Danielle Paige delivered a passing series. And this is my order from most to least favourite:
Dorothy Must Die, Yellow Brick War, The End of Oz, The Wicked Will Rise
Amy Gumm, I'm going to miss you. I've chosen to salute you. Now onto my next series.