The Wicked Ones (Dark Ascension #1)

The Wicked Ones (Dark Ascension #1)
Age Range
Release Date
January 10, 2023
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"Blood is blood...and one way or another, we all bleed."

Drizella and Anastasia only know one thing for certain: they will never end up like their mother, Lady Tremaine. When their father left them as young girls, he took what was left of their family’s fortune and their mother’s dignity with him. A few years and one deceased stepfather later, the only version of Lady Tremaine that Drizella and Anastasia know is a bitter and cruel head of house. Anastasia and Drizella have promised themselves―and each other―that they'll be different. They'll find love, see the world, and never let their hearts go cold.

But both sisters are all too aware of what it can mean when cast into disfavor with their mother, and fueled by Lady Tremaine’s tendencies to pit the daughters against one another, Drizella and Anastasia are locked into a complicated waltz of tenuous sisterhood. On the cusp of the royal debut party―their one chance to impress the Prince and live up to their mother’s expectations―the sisters at last get a glimpse of what life could be like outside of Lady Tremaine’s intentions: Drizella discovering a love of science and Anastasia sparking a secret romance. But never underestimate the power a mother whose greatest talents lie in manipulation, and the sisters may learn that even the cruelest of hearts can spill blood.

This first book in the new Disney Villains Dark Ascension series by National Book Award-winning author Robin Benway explores the complex sibling rivalry between the two wicked stepsisters from Cinderella that turned them into the characters we know today. 

Editor review

1 review
Ugly Stepsisters
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What I liked:
The Wicked Ones is a prequel to the story of Cinderella and her happily ever after. We all know Cinderella had two stepsisters, usually described as the ugly stepsisters, Drizella and Anastasia. The Wicked Ones is their chance to have their side of the story told. I enjoyed getting to know these two sisters trying to thrive in a household where abuse and manipulation from their mother are considered the norm. Both sisters are protective of each other but also war with the desire to protect themselves.
Final Verdict:
The Wicked Ones is not a happily ever after story, but you do begin to understand the dynamic between the stepsisters and Ella and why in some stories, she does her best to provide for them once she marries prince charming. If you have ever been curious about these two Ugly Stepsisters, The Wicked Ones is the prequel you want to read.
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