Review: The Isle of the Lost

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

Didn’t you know?  Villains have kids too.

Twenty years ago when Belle married her Beast they rounded up all the villains and banished them… to the Isle of the Lost.  During their banishment these notorious villains have been raising their young, preparing them for the day when they’d escape the magic dome allowing them to finally get their revenge.

This book, being the prequel to the 2015 hit TV movie Disney Descendants, introduces us to the four main villain children – Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos – and gives us a glimpse of what their life was like before the movie.  The food is rotten, the houses are shoddy and the parent-child relationships are nothing like the ones in Auradon.  What do you expect?  They’re villains and they pretty much only see their children as a way to carry on their evil legacies… assuming they get off the island eventually.

The book also gives us a glimpse of Prince Ben in Auradon and his training to becoming King once he turns sixteen.  There are not many chapters dedicated to his character, but we do get to see in which ways he takes after his parents, King Beast and Queen Belle.

Meanwhile, on the isle Mal is given an assignment from her mother (Maleficent) to retrieve her treasured scepter, which holds the Dragon Eye, from the other side of the island.  However, there’s a catch – the eye is cursed.  The first person to touch it and ‘wake the dragon’ will be cursed to sleep for a thousand years (classic Maleficent).  Enlisting the help of her three acquaintances (because villains don’t have friends) Mal conducts a plan that will help them retrieve the eye and she’ll be able to prove once and for all that she is as evil as her mother.

So… this book is definitely a great read.  I like that we get to see more into the lives of the villain children before they go to Auradon in the movie.  However, there are some differences between the book and movie that irk me a little, but isn’t that always the case?

First of all, the villain children are not as close in the book as they make them out to be in the movie, and neither are the parents.  In the book we learn that Mal hates Evie for an incident that happened when they were six, and just as well their parents, Evil Queen and Maleficent aren’t exactly fond of each other.  In the movie, it’s completely opposite.  It seems as though EQ and Maleficent are best friends, along with Jafar and Cruella De Vil.

Now that I think about it, that’s really the only thing that bugs me between the book and movie.

I guess it works out though, because during their quest to find the Dragon Eye we see the four villains-in-training doing something they never thought possible – bond.

In any case, if you are at all interested in reading about the children of some of the most famous villains I’d definitely recommend this book… and the movies of course.  It’s up to you of course whether you want to read the book first or see the movie, since you don’t necessarily need to read the book before watching the movie.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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