Mother Knows Best

The fifth installment of Serena Valentino’s Disney Villains Series took me a bit longer to get through. It was mostly just life getting in the way of reading, and I am fine with that. Life is like that sometimes, and that’s okay.

About the book, it isn’t my favorite. The title is a bit misleading. I thought the book would be more about Gothel and Rapunzel, the missing princess. That is not the way the story is written. In fact, the missing princess didn’t become part of the story until I was almost finished with the book. The small portion of the book that is about the missing princess is pretty much the Tangled script – from Rapunzel and Gothel to Flynn Rider. Pascal even makes a cameo. It is just like the movie. What isn’t like the move is the tapestry woven in the background of their stories.

The book starts with Gothel as a child spending every waking moment with her sisters Primrose and Hazel. Their mother is too wrapped up in herself and being Queen of the Dead to care about her daughters. All she cares about is that the girls never leave the dead woods.

The Odd Sisters play a very large part in this story. As in the previous books, the sisters are meddlesome and destructive. Although they try to save Rapunzel from Gothel so Circe will forgive them, Circe knows the sisters are the reason Rapunzel is in danger in the first place. Their feeble attempts to gain Circe’s favor only serve to make Circe angrier.

We all know how the story ends for Rapunzel. After all, we all saw her and Eugene at the coronation of Queen Elsa of Arendelle. Mother Knows Best isn’t really about Rapunzel. Mother Knows Best is about Gothel – the black-hearted daughter of the Queen of the dead.

Mother Knows Best is my least favorite of the Villains Series so far. Don’t misunderstand that statement. Serena Valentino is a very unique story teller. She brings elements to these beloved fairy tales that I, for one, could never imagine. I am enjoying this series very much. However, I will caution you to be careful about who you allow to read these books. It will be quite some time before I allow my four-year-old niece to read these books. Yet, I can hardly wait to share them with my cousin’s eighteen-year-old daughter.

That being said, I would like to offer a sincere apology to Serena Valentino. When I first started reading her Disney Villains Series, I read the first four books in a month. It has taken me over a month to finish Mother Knows Best. The amount of time it took for me to complete this book had very little to do with the book. Life just happens sometimes, and this past month has been quite a challenge on several fronts. I’ve been unable to read on a regular basis, as with the previous four books. For that, I sincerely apologize. I will do my best to get through the next books more expeditiously – between homeschooling a quarantined child and holiday baking. 🙂