Return to the Isle of the Lost - Melissa de la Cruz
C.H. Class of 2025,
“I’ve got the most
The Isle of
Once upon a time, after all the happily-ever-afters, when all the fairy tales were supposed to have ended, came a new beginning when the teenage children of the most evil villains in the land were sent from the remote Isle of the Lost to the majestic kingdom of Auradon.
As you surely have heard, Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos, the descendants of Maleficent, Mistress of Darkness; Evil Queen, infamous for her sleep-inducing apples; Jafar, grand vizier of avarice; and Cruella de Vil, harridan extraordinaire, were sent far from home to learn how to be good.
After childhoods spent learning to be just the opposite, the villains, being villains, had other intentions.
Mal and her friends were tasked by their evil parents to fetch Fairy Godmother’s wand and use its power to return the villains to their former glory and rain vengeance on their enemies.
However, after arriving in Auradon, these young villains were soon flummoxed by the friendliness of the natives and the abundance of sugary treats in this new land. They found themselves struggling between carrying out their sinister mission and enjoying their new, deliciously cookie-filled life.
Were they falling in love with Auradon while plotting its demise? Mal was certainly falling for someone—the handsome prince of her dreams, Prince Ben, whom she’d spelled into falling in love with her, only to realize she didn’t need magic to capture his heart. Ben was as smitten as she was, and there was more to him than his brilliant smile, for he also had the heart of a king.
When the time came for Mal and her friends to make their move on Fairy Godmother’s wand during Prince Ben’s Coronation, it was not Mal who grabbed it and caused the chaos that followed, but Fairy Godmother’s own daughter, Jane. As the invisible barrier over the Isle of the Lost shattered, magic returned to the villains in full force, allowing Maleficent to escape. The evil fairy turned into a fire-breathing dragon, terrorizing all of Auradon, determined to claim the wand as her own.
But Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay stood together, and it was Mal who won the battle and wielded the wand. In the end, her power for good was greater than her mother’s talent for evil.
Mal and her friends are back at their studies at Auradon Prep…and Maleficent is now a tiny lizard, reduced to the size of her heart.
And this is where our story begins….
I’m afraid this
can’t last forever.”
If Mal had to pick what she liked most about Auradon, it would be hard to choose just one thing. She could probably spend a whole day cataloging everything that didn’t stink about her new school. For one, it wasn’t housed in a smelly, damp dungeon like Dragon Hall back in the Isle. For another, it was a surprise to find she actually enjoyed learning about a variety of subjects instead of just plotting evil schemes. She was particularly fond of her art classes, where she happily painted canvases full of mysterious foggy landscapes and gloomy dark castles instead of the peaceful sunsets and still lifes of fruit favored by the rest of the class. Why anyone would want to paint something as boring as a bowl of fruit, Mal would never understand.
She was sitting at a long table in the great room in Auradon Prep’s library, a cheerful, bright space with high ceilings and banners with the school colors hanging from the ceiling. Mal was trying to do homework for a change, but was too distracted by the people-watching as students kept filing in and out between classes. Plus, her Goodness Appreciation essay was putting her to sleep. So she looked out the floor-to-ceiling library windows instead, at the manicured lawns where she played croquet (well, made fun of people playing croquet might be more accurate) and the patch of shady oak trees where she and her friends often ate lunch.
Yeah, life in Auradon was good; better than an unexpected makeover before midnight, or an endless feast presented by dancing plates and cutlery; better even, than being invited to a baby princess’s christening.
“Happy?” a voice asked, snapping her out of her uncharacteristically dreamy reverie.
She blushed and smiled across the table at the handsome boy who smiled back at her from behind his swoop of golden-brown hair. “What makes you say that?” she asked.
“You look…positively delighted,” Ben said, tapping his pencil on her nose to show he was teasing.
She raised an