Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.


Disney recently released a prequel novel to their upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie The Descendants entitled "The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel". Here is the official synopsis:

Evil tree. Bad Apple?

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost--a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.

Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon's Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the Dragon's Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.

Isle of the Lost is the spell-binding prequel to Disney Descendants, A Disney Channel Original Movie Event this summer!

The book is written by Melissa de la Cruz who is the author of many best-selling novels, including all the books in the Blue Bloods series This is the first time she has worked in someone else’s universe but she seems excited about the prospect:

“I’d never really worked in anybody else's universe but my own. So, you know, in that way it was a little bit of a challenge because I was kind of stepping into something that was already developed. We had the script. We were going into production. The characters had already been named. And not only that, but there's a huge history of all the Disney movies that came before it.

So, what attracted me to the project was that I love fairy tales. And I actually wanted to write a fairy tale retelling. I had just talked to my agent that morning and told him I want my next project to be a fairy tale retelling.

And that day, I was having lunch with Jeanne Mosure, who's the head of Disney Publishing. And she asked me to write The Descendants. And I said, "Oh, my God. This is so crazy. I just told my agent I wanted to write fairy tales. And now I'm getting the biggest Disney fairy tale of all."

So, I liked it because I'm a huge Disney fan. I grew up watching all the classic movies. I know them by heart. They were a big part of my childhood. And my daughter, who's eight, we had just gone through watching all of those classic movies from her childhood.

And so, it was very fresh in my mind, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast. I really thought I could bring a lot to the project, a lot of research, but also, a unique perspective.

And I was really excited. I've been a huge fan of Disney. When I was in college, I wrote Michael Eisner a fan letter. And it was really like a fan letter to the company.

So, I was really honored to be part of it.

As you can see, she has a real affinity for the world’s of Disney. I also took the opportunity to ask her if she developed a special connection to any of the characters and here is what she had to say:

Carlos, just really his journey, because he's kind of shy and he's kind of a geeky computer nerd. I really felt for him from the beginning.

But then as I wrote him I also discovered he has a very sly sense of humor and like a lot of survival instincts in him to be able to survive being Cruella de Vil's child.

I think I really did get close to him. And I really enjoyed him growing up a little but still having that sense of humor.

Finally we asked if the world of Descendants would inspire children to check out the Disney classics. Her response was an unequivocal “definitely”:

As somebody who was working on the project and going back to review the movies, it gave me a greater appreciation of them. So I kind of hope that people are drawn to the book and the new movie and then feel like, hey, let's watch the classics again.

They really hold up. And it really is meant to be a book that you read after watching all these movies. And it's good for Disney geeks. It's good for the kids.

We will be featuring more coverage of Disney Descendants: Isle of the Lost all week. For now you have a chance to win a Disney Descendants Prize pack featuring a  copy of The Isle of the Lost; branded tank top, water bottle and temporary tattoos; and a GadgetGrip smartphone home button sticker. To enter, fill out the form below and don’t forget to follow LaughingPlace over the next several days for more Descendants: The Isle of the Lost reports.