Dorothy Must Die
Cover artist
Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale retellings
Publication date
April 1st 2014
Preceded by
Followed by

Dorothy Must Die is a 2014 young adult debut book by Danielle Paige and the first book in the trilogy of the same name. The book, which was produced through Full Fathom Five, was released on April 1, 2014 through HarperCollins and was preceded by the novella No Place Like Oz. 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.


I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas. I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I've been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Plot SummaryEdit

Warning: SPOILERS!

After returning from school holding a suspension, Amy is told by her mother that a tornado is coming. She dismisses this as mere speculation and her mother leaves to the bar. However, the tornado ends up sweeping Amy and her mother's pet rat off to a fabled land which Kansas is famous for -- Oz.

The place is not what it used to be. Oz seems gray and lifeless, and Amy is confronted by a boy called Pete. He warns her that Oz is changed, and deduces that she is from the 'Other Place' before leaving hastily.

Amy follows the crumbling brick road, hoping that she might go to the Emerald City and ask for help to return home. However, she meets a Munchkin called Indigo who tells her -- like Pete -- that everything is different. And she also warns Amy that Glinda, the supposedly Good witch, isn't what she seems like. On the way to the Emerald City, Amy also frees a winged monkey named Ollie. His wings are gone, though, as an act of trying to free himself from Dorothy's rule. He explains that when Dorothy came back to Oz, people were happy that she was back. However, the power and greed got to her head, and before long, she was as wicked as the witches. The rightful ruler, a fairy called Ozma, is supposed to rule, but Dorothy messed with her head and now she's a puppet to Dorothy.

Despite warnings from Ollie, Amy plucks an apple from a tree for food. Instantly, the Tin Woodman and his henchman appear to arrest them. After an anguished plea, Indigo is killed, Ollie escapes through the trees, and Amy gets to go to the Emerald City -- as a prisoner.

Like Dorothy, the Lion, Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman have been twisted into barely recognizable beings. When she arrives at the throne room to see Dorothy, Amy is startled to see how much she has changed. The farm girl still wears a checkered outfit -- but instead of rough cotton it's smooth chiffon.

This is the least noticeable change. As Amy accidentally reveals that she is from Kansas too, Dorothy hisses that 'there can only be one'. After a brief shouting bout, Amy is sent to a prison cell.

Pete arrives to see her briefly. For countless days, Amy eats the food provided and thinks about escaping. Then one day a witch called Mombi appears, asking her if she wants to escape. After a brief fight, they are both transported to the Wicked headquarters.

At Wicked headquarters she meets Gert, the formerly Good Witch of the North, Glamora, Glinda's twin, and Nox, a fighter. She is trained and told that her mission is to infiltrate Oz and to kill Dorothy.

One morning, Amy awoke to a bat flying around her room. The bat lead Amy to the war room, where the rest of the Wicked were already at. The Lion was on the move. And he was unknowingly headed straight to their headquarters. In order to stop the Lion from detecting them and destroying any more villages, Amy, Mombi, Gert, and Nox went to stop him. While Glamora, Melindra, and Annabel stayed at the headquarters. After a long and hard fight, the Lion had Nox. Just as he started to eat Nox's fear, Gert arrived.

Gert made a deal with the Lion to take her instead. Instead of taking Gert's fear however, Gert took some of The Lions power. Sadly, the power was too much for Gert. Using the last of her strength, Gert cast a protecting spell on Amy, and soon passes away.

The next day, Amy is sent on her mission, posing as a servant girl named Astrid. before Amy goes her and Nox kiss and show their true feelings for each other. While spying around the palace she comes across Dorothy and Glinda and discovers that Dorothy doesn't trust the Wizard and the Tin Woodman is in love with Dororthy. She accidentally meets the Wizard whose cryptic talk makes her wonder whose side he's actually on.

While doing a chore in The Emerald Palace, she discovers Ollie trying to rescue his sister, Maude, who has been captured and experimented on by the Scarecrow. She promises to save Maude and starts a fire in the palace to lure the Scarecrow out of his lab and rescue Maude. After rescuing Maude she cuts off her wings (at Maude's prompting) so Dorothy cannot control her anymore.


Amy Gumm

Dorothy Gale






The Scarecrow

The Tin Woodman

The Lion





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." 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." A senior editor for the School Library Journal praised the work as being "gory, grim, and fast-paced".