Wicked Marigold

Wicked Marigold
Age Range
Release Date
July 16, 2024
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Princess Marigold—who hadn’t yet been born when the remarkable Princess Rosalind was kidnapped—is eleven when the unthinkable happens: her older sister escapes her captivity and comes home. Marigold has always known she’s not as good, sweet, or kind as the sister everyone adores, but amid the celebration of Rosalind’s return, Marigold realizes something new: if Princess Rosalind is good, then Princess Marigold must be wicked. And there’s no place for wickedness in the kingdom. When Marigold tries to find a new place for herself in an evil wizard’s fortress, though, the results are disastrous. Before she’s even learned to cackle or scowl properly, she gets tangled up in a magical plot to ruin all the Cacophonous Kingdoms. Is Marigold too wicked to make things right? Or can she—with the help of a kitchen boy, a well-dressed imp, and a grumpy blob of glop—find her own way to restore peace? This endearing fantasy will have princess and anti-princess fans alike chuckling and cheering.

Editor review

1 review
Being wicked is hard
Overall rating
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What worked:
Readers should feel empathy for Marigold since she grows up living in the shadow of her older sister. All she hears is how wonderful Rosalind was before being kidnapped. Marigold is a normal, curious, adventurous young girl but she can’t stand being ignored once her sister returns. She makes one too many mistakes, runs away, and starts calling herself wicked. The blob mentioned in the synopsis refers to Wizard Torvell after Marigold’s first attempt to cast a spell goes haywire. She really wants to help the wizard but is clearly in over her head. Torvell’s brother and sister, the Miseries, are constant annoyances and threats and Marigold is forced to find ways to appease them. How is Marigold supposed to support Torvell’s evil ways when her goodness keeps getting in the way?
The most amusing part of the book involves Marigold’s efforts to prove she’s wicked. She’s given seven days to convince an evil sorcerer’s imp Pettifog of her wickedness and that’s when the antics begin. Turning Torvell into a blob is funny by itself but trying to interact with him offers more humorous situations. Then, Marigold tries to reverse the spell but her efforts don’t turn out as expected. Pettifog constantly complains about her non-wickedness and laments her lame efforts to perform magic. The story shares numerous, funny mental images as Marigold stumbles along trying to be evil. Pettifog loves to knit tea napkins but he fears being returned to the world of demons. The contrast between being a demon and his love for Rosalind adds additional levity to his character.
The backbone of the plot pits good versus evil as the wizards and sorcerers fear peace will break out among the kingdoms. This news will be terrible for them since there will no longer be a demand for their wicked spells. Rosalind is the epitome of kindness with everyone loving and admiring her and she’s at the center of peace efforts that will unite the different kingdoms. On the other hand, Marigold is more inquisitive and a risk-taker so her behavior is not as well-received. She assumes that since she’s not as perfectly nice as her sister she must be wicked. She struggles with this internal conflict throughout the entire story.
What didn’t work as well:
Some readers may not appreciate the zaniness as the humor borders on slapstick. The wizards’ spells to maintain chaos are wacky and Torvell’s behavior as a blob is very strange. However, the resulting story is comical and entertaining for those readers with tolerant funny bones.
The final verdict:
The reverse expectations of Marigold trying to be wicked create a hilarious, enjoyable story. Her kind heart will endear her to young readers even as she half-heartedly tries to be evil. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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