Book Review: “The Legacy of Villains” By Juliette Lockwood

Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author or their representative but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.

The Legacy of Villains is scheduled for a March 21, 2023 release

Neverland like you’ve NEVER seen it before

Neverland is as picturesque as it is dangerous. Even now after the wars, Peter Pan and his lost boys terrorize the land. Only Captain Hook and the crew of the Jolly Roger dare to oppose them, and they have been sparring back and forth for years. But the one that is most desperate to get her hands on the elusive eternal youth is none other than Hook’s very own daughter, Jolie. Harboring a hatred for Peter Pan ever since the murder of her mother, she will stop at nothing to exact revenge. When her father accepts Peter’s invitation to engage in peace talks she is livid; and when her attempts to have him reconsider fall short there is only one thing she can do. Taking matters into her own hands she sets out on her own, using her savvy as the only daughter of the greatest pirate ever known to navigate the perils of Neverland. But after coming face to face with Pan himself, she does the one thing that she knows she never should do and makes a deal with the trickster. Given only three days she must find her father who is being held in Pan’s castle. If she does, he will be released but if she doesn’t?  Only Pan knows what will happen. Not knowing where she is going and with danger at every turn, Jolie finds herself receiving aid from the strangest of characters… names who have been thought that have been long gone from the land. What begins as a revenge rescue mission could very well end up to be the rescue that the entire land needs.

The Legacy of Villians is the debut novel by author Juliette Lockwood and is sure to be a delight for anyone who is familiar with the story of Peter Pan.  I picked up a copy of this book based solely on the fact that growing up I was a huge fan of Peter Pan and anything pirate related. Even to this day, the pirate theme tends to follow and speak to me on some level.  With these two factors in mind, I jumped head first into this tale and did not look back. Lockwood takes the traditional story and turns it on its ear; transforming Neverland into a place where the heroes are the villains, and nobody is completely innocent. Using the bones of the beloved story she has crafted a world after Wendy, John and Michael have long departed Neverland. The splendor and wonder that was once her legacy is now gone. The merfolk have all gone into hiding, the fairies are all but extinct and the natives aren’t even mentioned. Even though Lockwood’s Neverland does not completely resemble the beloved image that many are accustomed to there are enough similarities that it is no problem to visualize the world as it is now. Throughout the story there are nods to previous characters and quite a few easter eggs that hearken back to the classic tale. To say The Legacy of Villains is a fantasy does not do it justice. This book is fantasy, dystopia, romance, and hope all rolled up into one amazing read. If you are one of those hopeless romantics who were rooting for Peter and Wendy, you are in for a treat with Peter and Jolie. As the story unfolded, I found myself wanting more. To tackle such a well known and universally beloved story as this for a debut novel took guts and Lockwood knocked it out of the park as well as leaving the door open for a return to Neverland and the characters as she has reimagined them. If this happens I will be front and center for the new adventures that Lockwood dreams up with the old (and some new) favorites.

For fans of the classic Peter Pan story who are open to a retelling that will blow your mind, The Legacy of Villains awaits, and you will not be disappointed.

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