Serena Valentino has delighted Disney villains fans with two books, Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen and The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince. That tradition continues with Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch as she completes this trilogy. It’s time to dive under the sea with my favorite villainess, Ursula the sea witch.
Poor Unfortunate Soul is the climax of a trilogy and while the Evil Queen, Beast and Ursula are unrelated, the common connection is a family of witches who have involved themselves in each of their lives. It is possible to read Fairest of All and The Beast Within without having read the prior two, but Poor Unfortunate Soul will leave readers confused without any knowledge of the previous events.
If you’ve seen The Little Mermaid, then you already know Ursula’s story. Not much about it is expanded here, although you do get some backstory that is absent from the film. Poor Unfortunate Soul reveals her familial connection to Ariel, her deep rooted hatred for Triton, and why she has assumed her octopus form.
The real magic behind Poor Unfortunate Soul is the Odd Sisters, who are now in search of one of their lost sisters. These witches were first introduced in Fairest of All and played a major role in The Beast Within. The reason this is the final act in a trilogy is that it completes a story that is pieced together through these books.
I really enjoyed Poor Unfortunate Soul and was delighted to find a post on Serena Valentino’s blog stating that, while this is the end of a trilogy, she is starting another trilogy in this same series. If you were a fan of the previous books, you must pick this up to find out what happens to the witches. The book also teases who the next trilogy may begin with.
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Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.