A Tale of the Dark Fairy
Everyone knows Maleficent is the most notorious of the DisneyTM Villains. She is the one all others fear. I often find it difficult not to compare movies to books, and Mistress of All Evil was no exception. Having fallen in love with Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Maleficent, I was quite anxious to see where Serena Valentino would take Maleficent’s story.
Mistress of All Evil is a heart-breaking tale of a mother’s love. It is a tale of betrayal and a broken heart. Left on her own as a baby because her dark future had been foreseen, Maleficent found love in an unlikely mother — someone who knew Maleficent’s future, but who believed in Maleficent’s goodness.
From a young age it was easy to see that Maleficent was not only the most beautiful, but also the most powerful of the fairies. When she went to school, she was teased and bullied relentlessly. The Fairy Godmother – yes, the same one who made Cinderella’s dream come true – had nothing nice to say to or about Maleficent. In time, Maleficent left school and studied anything and everything she could.
Maleficent met The Odd Sisters when she was sixteen. These are the same sister witches who caused so much death and destruction in Serena Valentino’s previous Disney Villains books. Maleficent loved The Odd Sisters, and they loved her. As Maleficent grew in her power, her loneliness also grew. Maleficent’s loneliness broke The Odd Sisters’ hearts. In an attempt to help Maleficent, they used a spell to create someone for Maleficent to love. The Odd Sisters took the best parts of Maleficent to create this child, leaving Maleficent with nothing but evil in her heart – or did they?
It is true that Maleficent became more and more powerful. It is also true that Maleficent seemed to become more and more evil. After reading Mistress of All Evil, I don’t believe Maleficent was truly evil. Ursula was evil. Yes, Ursula had been hurt, but she also collected the souls of others the way someone would collect stamps. That was not the case with Maleficent.
I understand that Maleficent was The Mistress of All Evil. Yet, her actions were not random. She did not use her powers to hurt others just because she could. Maleficent’s powers became stronger and darker because the one she loved the most as a child lied to her, and Maleficent felt betrayed. More than that, Maleficent’s powers grew stronger and darker out of Maleficent’s love for the child created by The Odd Sisters. Maleficent was desperate to protect this child and would not hesitate to kill anyone she believed would harm the most precious gift Maleficent had ever received.
Serena Valentino’s version of Maleficent’s story broke my heart. Although Maleficent is considered The Mistress of All Evil, she was not always evil. The bullying as a child, the feeling of betrayal by her mother, and the love she was desperate to protect were all driving forces in Maleficent’s descent from a girl with a bright future so full of potential to The Dark Fairy.
Mistress of All Evil is another wonderfully told tale by Serena Valentino. The reader can feel Maleficent’s heartache and desperation. The ones she loved the most were ultimately the cause of her downfall. The imagery the author uses to describe Maleficent’s beauty makes it easy for the reader to appreciate that beauty. The love that drove Maleficent makes the reader fall in love with her. She is probably, in my opinion, the most misunderstood of the DisneyTM villains.
I highly recommend Mistress of All Evil. Maleficent’s story is unlike anything I have ever read. Secrets are revealed that change not only her story, but The Odd Sisters’ story, and, finally, Aurora’s story. Sometimes love hurts, and that was never truer than for Maleficent.