Who She Is:
Amy Gumm’s story might sound familiar to you. She’s a girl who lives in the middle of Kansas until a tornado shows up one day and whisks her off to a magical land called Oz. Except that Oz isn’t so magical these days, because Dorothy (yes, that Dorothy) returned and took over. She now rules the land with tyrannical authority, stealing everyone’s magic for herself, and the Wicked witches know Dorothy must be stopped. Amy, they say is their girl. Amy isn’t so sure, though. After all, she’s spent her life being told she’s nothing special. Just trailer trash. Salvation Amy, stuck with a deadbeat mom who’s having a good day if she can haul herself off the couch and get dressed. Amy wants nothing more than to escape her life is Kansas — but this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind.
Why She’s Awesome:
What I love about Amy is that while she may not know who she is or what she wants to be, she knows what’s right. She’s a survivor. She’s a “chosen one,” destined to kill Dorothy and save all of Oz, but she also turns that trope on her head because she doesn’t immediately nod and acquiesce and go along with the plan. She questions it. Loudly. She may owe the Wicked Witches of Oz her service and life because in a time of life or death danger, binding herself to them was the only way to survive, but that doesn’t mean she’s just going to obey without knowing what she’s getting herself into. Amy is fiery, angry, searching, desperate, and that combination could very easily be insufferable. But it isn’t. Paige builds and draws this character so well. You ache for her. You feel for her. But you’d darn well better believe you’re also rooting for her every step of the way. Amy is awesome because she is kickass and takes no one’s crap. Period. She’ll do what they’re asking her to do, but she’ll do it on her terms, and she will survive because that’s what she does.
Who Does She Love:
By the end of book one? No one, really. There are a couple potential love interests, but throughout the novel, her main focus is on learning to use her magic, complete her mission of espionage, and find an opportunity to assassinate a tyrannical queen. She doesn’t really have time for a romantic subplot, and frankly, I find that refreshing. As the series continues, I fully expect that to change. But I like that Paige isn’t throwing us straight into it. The focus is on Amy learning to love herself, and I for one, am cheering that on for all I’m worth.