Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Isle of the Lost

Villains don't have friends, and neither do their children. -Melissa de la Cruz, The Isle of the Lost

Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos are offspring to some of the most legendary villains: Maleficent, Jafar, the Evil Queen, and Cruella De Vil. Exiled before birth to the Isle of the Lost, along with their wicked parents, these teenagers are protected by a dome that keeps them from leaving the island or performing magic. Then one day, a hole in the dome awakens Maleficent's scepter, the Dragon's Eye, and together Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos set out to find it in hopes of freeing themselves from the dome, the ban on magic, and the isle itself. Of course, each of them has an eye on his or her own personal agenda (they were raised by villains, after all), whether that means finding treasure or proving to their disappointed, wicked parents how truly evil they can be.

As these characters embark on their journey, the only thing standing in the way of each of them fulfilling their potential for evil (a.k.a. "evil quotients") and upholding the scruples of their land is perhaps each one's own true nature beyond their parents' expectations--and maybe even friendship.

The characters are unique and endearing, despite their evil upbringing, even because of it. My favorite part of the story is when the group travels to the mysterious land of Nowhere and Maleficent's Forbidden Fortress, complete with magical traps, in pursuit of the scepter. Each member of the group must step up at some point to help everyone safely through the castle's traps and forward on their journey--for the first time building teamwork when they thought they were made for tyranny.

Early in the story, we get to see into the lives and homes of the villains (Cruella's was the most intriguingly disturbing, in my opinion) and meet other cleverly crafted characters, though not a whole lot happens until the scepter is awakened a little later in the story. We also get to glimpse into the lives outside of the isle, in the kingdom of Auradon, ruled by King Beast; Queen Belle; their son, Ben; and their council of fairy tale characters, all of whom are partly responsible for the banishment of the villains and their children.

I kept hoping to see the two sides come together, but that also gives me excitement to read the sequel, Return to the Isle of the Lost, to see what happens next.

What fairy tale villains would you like to see more of after the conclusions of their original stories?


The Isle of the Lost:
Return to the Isle of the Lost:


  1. I've never heard of these books, but what an interesting premise! I think what I'm most curious about is how these villains came to have kids in the first place... :) For instance, wasn't Jafar a genie by the end of Aladdin? Anyway, I think the villain I'd be curious to know more about after the story is Ursula from The Little Mermaid. There was always something likeable about her in spite of her evil plots.

    1. I would like to know more about Ursula too! She’s mentioned in this book. Good question about Jafar. Some of the villains needed to be brought back for the dead for their banishment/punishment, so he must have been brought back from his fate as genie. I’m curious about the other parents, who don’t appear in the book, though Mal’s father is referred to a lot as a weak human. If you ever watch Disney channel, there is a movie on it called Descendants, which I believe is based on the sequel of this book.

  2. One villain who I would love to read about outside of the story he's in is Captain Vanderdecken from Castaways of the Flying Dutchman. Specifically, I'd love to learn his backstory and how he became so cunning and so jaded.


  3. This sounds like an interesting book! I have always found villains intriguing - it's neat someone wrote a book about their children! There are lots of books about the children of heroes but I haven't seen one about the children of villains. Thanks for recommending it!

  4. Brenna, that would be an interesting one!

    I agree, Hannah. It was pretty unique!


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