This was a great read, although not as good as Dorothy Must Die (book 1).
The Wicked Will Rise takes us on the journey of getting answers and trying to find redemption. We follow Amy Gumm again as she continues her quest to defeat the evil flowing throughout Oz.
Some of the words and situations that the characters say and end up in are for 14+ I'd say (the same goes for book 1).
Near the beginning of The Wicked Will Rise we see Amy starting the search for Nox, Mombi and the other members of the Wicked. We see her take the Lion's courage, the second of the things she has to take according to the Wizard, to defeat Dorothy in the first book.
Amy also travels to the land of the Wingless Monkeys where she seeks advice from the Queen monkey, Lulu. Lulu is rude and quite obnoxious towards Amy but she also wants Dorothy's reign of Oz to end. It's revealed while in the land of the Wingless, Amy and Ozma need to find Persephone, the Queen of the Rainbows.
While on this part of the quest Amy seeks aid from Pete, Ozma's literal other half although he can't stay for long as it's a constant battle who gets out - him or Ozma. Ozma doesn't speak much sense throughout but Pete does. Amy therefore wants to keep Pete but can she?
Glinda makes an appearance, where she states she's left Dorothy and is now working for herself. Amy, however isn't sure whether or not to believe her.
She finds Nox on the Isle Of The Lost, thanks to Ozma leading her there. Amy and Nox are glad to be reunited. They happen across Bright, a character who always ends up in the Isle Of The Lost. Bright says he'll take Amy, Ozma and Nox to Polychrome, which he does. They have to go rainbow surfing to get there but they end up in Persephone's castle.
Amy, Ozma and Nox meet Polychrome and they start to dissect what's happening in Oz and why? Amy wants to talk to Polychrome alone, which she does and she shows her the artefacts from the Tin Woodman, and the Lion that she's already collected. Polychrome also studies these and tries to work out what's happening in Oz. She finds something that she doesn't think is related to Dorothy.
Glinda and Dorothy show up in Polychrome's Castle and a fight begins. Nox fights Glinda while Amy battles Dorothy. We don't see any of Nox's fight with Glinda but we know it's happening. Polychrome dies in battle as well. Amy and Dorothy can't hurt each other it appears. This isn't explained in this second book but might be drawn upon in the third. As neither Amy nor Dorothy can use their magic against each other they give up for now. However, Dorothy does manage to steal the artefacts away from Amy.
Because Amy is so angry about this she becomes something that isn't entirely her. Nox manages to calm her enough to inhabit her own body again but she isn't sure what happened to her. I hope this will get expanded on in book 3 as well.
We then see Amy and Nox back in Oz but they notice that the palace has grown larger. As they race to see what has happened they see Dorothy and Glinda there as well. Amy realises she must race to the centre of the maze that was touched upon in book 1. When she gets there she sees Dorothy and the Wizard. As the reader I wasn't sure what was happening here. I think I was meant to feel that way however as Amy isn't sure either.
I therefore give The Wicked Will Rise 4 stars because it wasn't as good of a read as the first book although I still enjoyed it. I felt that the story didn't really start until after half way through. After Amy found Nox was where the story really started for me. Everything before that was prequel that didn't really matter greatly to the story I felt. The characters were still great, however. I loved seeing Amy's relationship with Nox develop further as well as seeing her meet Lulu and seeing her rise up to become what she's meant to be.