Ruler of Beasts is the sixth prequel novella in the Dorothy Must Die series. It was released electronically on February 16th, 2015 and is included in Dorothy Must Die Stories Volume 2 with Heart of Tin and The Straw King.
Taking place one year after Ozma takes the throne, the once Cowardly Lion has become bored with nothing eventual in Oz happening and creates a battle tournament for the beasts of the forest, with the twist of the loser animal being eaten by him.
After the Lion gets bored of watching this, he ends it and Glinda shows up suggesting he should go to the Emerald City to led Ozma's Army and become her personal body guard. While there, he is to fetch a ruby necklace left by the Wizard. After days of searching around the palace for the necklace, the Lion becomes bored again but doesn't stay that way for long as Ozma alerts him of an impending crisis. This crisis is an upcoming war and invasion of Oz by the Nome King, so they travel underground to confront him.
The Nome King suggests that the Lion and Ozma wager the freedom of Oz by playing his game in enchanting Ozma into an object and having the Lion pick out which one is really her. Ozma agrees knowing the Lion can figure it out but he is very unsure and picks the wrong ones. On his final try he uses his nose and is able to track Ozma's scent to find her statuette which was sort of buried in the ground with the Nome King intending him to not pick it.
- This is the earliest chronological entry in the series taking place after a presumed The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and an alternate timeline of The Marvelous Land of Oz that had the Lion involved in defeating General Jinjur in what is described as a "bloody battle". However, he was not a character in the second book and only met Ozma after she took the throne as stated in Ozma of Oz.
- It is mentioned that Jinjur may have killed the "Army of Oz", but in canon, her Army of Revolt was rather peaceful and only threatened to poke people with sewing needles until they complied.
- The Nome King wearing the Ruby necklace is a reference to 1985's Return to Oz when he was found wearing the Ruby Slippers.
- In the canonical book, Dorothy is saving the enchanted Royal Family of Ev whereas the Lion is playing the game to save Ozma.
- Also instead of different looking ornaments, Ozma was enchanted into small statuettes of herself.
- The Lion's tournament is similar to the Hunger Games book series