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Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Son of a Witch

by Gregory Maguire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Wicked Years (2)

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Not quite as good as Wicked, but still a decent sequel. It ends on a very satisfying note. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Mar 27, 2015 |
not as robust or rich as Wicked but still a compelling read. surprisingly so, because it has little plot. i’m not familiar enough with Baum’s Oz to say whether or not Maguire is still following the storyline as he did in Wicked but it might account for some of the peculiarities of the way this story unfolds.

nevertheless, Maguire’s elocution is rich even if his plot isn’t and it can be read and enjoyed at that level if nothing else. in fact, that’s what i had to do -be carried along by chewing on the word choice- to enjoy this book. there were so many characters and subplots and backstories and descriptions of Maguire’s version of Oz in Wicked that the entire book was full and satisfying as a complete tale. Son of a, in contrast, seems scant or overly stretched like there wasn’t enough content to extend the entire length of the book and M had to make do.

Liir is certainly an interesting character and Maguire does well in keeping his parentage dubious and yet obvious as Liir says and does things that sound more and more like Elphaba. the story may be a bit sparse in spots but the characters are whole individuals not easily forgotten. i cared about each one very quickly and learned something about Oz each time they took center stage.

do i want to read more about this Oz? yes, i find that i do. in many ways, Maguire’s Oz reminds me of Tolkien’s Middle Earth -a fantasy land come true with every gritty detail there to be experienced if only one wants to. compelling stuff.
( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
A decade after the Wicked Witch dies, a young man is found barely alive in a gully. No one can figure out how he got there. He is taken to a mauntery and tended by Candle, silent but with a gift for music. She brings him back to life.

The young man is Liir, he had been with the Witch when she died, he had been living with her for years. Believed to be her son but never proved. Through Liir’s memories we go back in time, to cover the years in between and how he came to be broken and comatose, tossed away like yesterday’s trash.

Liir is looking for Nor, at the same time, due to the fact that many believe he is Elphaba’s son he is asked to help the oppressed. Liir does not have the confidence in himself that other’s do. Yet when he decides to do something, he sticks to it.

This sequel introduces us to new characters while expanding on the old ones carried over. There are still questions, What happened to Dorothy?, The Tinman, Scarecrow and Lion. And what is going to happen to Oz with the land in turmoil and looking to boil over at any time?

Gregory Maguire keeps the story going. I could only see one thing that differed from Wicked, so pretty good. The characters remained consistent to what we learned previously. This consistency lends credence to this account and makes it easy to pick up the story and keep going. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
I read this book as soon as I finish reading Wicked and I have to say I couldnt finish the book. After reading Wicked I really wanted to know more about Elphaba but this book was not what I expected I dont know what it was but I just couldnt get to like it. ( )
  angie.arciba | Aug 9, 2014 |
I'm not sure where I stand on this book. The first 200 pages were a chore to read--perhaps I only really liked [b:Wicked|37442|Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West|Gregory Maguire|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QSCIp6U9L._SL75_.jpg|1479280] because it was [b:The Wizard of Oz|236093|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, Book 1)|L. Frank Baum|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172982142s/236093.jpg|1993810] from the point of view of the witch?

This book, and at times during [b:Wicked|37442|Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West|Gregory Maguire|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QSCIp6U9L._SL75_.jpg|1479280] as well, was hard to read because I felt [a:Gregory Maguire|7025|Gregory Maguire|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1196015404p2/7025.jpg] was trying too hard. There are parts in the book where I just don't understand why it was in the book. He needed an extra 10 pages? Or, will everything tie together in the third book, [b:A Lion Among Men|3124249|A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, Book 3)|Gregory Maguire|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZOj6yorOL._SL75_.jpg|3155594]? Do I have it in me to read the third book? IDK.

Liir, as the main character, is not very interesting, I feel. He is full of self-loathing, which is cool, but in the setting of post-Wizard Oz...isn't too engaging.

The one high point I found was a correlation between the Emperor, Shell, and Dubbya. Both were wild and crazy in their youth, then had God speak to them and tell them to lead, and then they are leaders. (Who are f*ing up the country, as leader, starting meaningless wars, etc.) Was this correlation intentional? For Maguire's sake, I hope so. It might be the best thing in the book.


Some parts, Maguire was too vague about--or at least I didn't feel like I understood what was happening until far later. It mentioned how this girl laid on top of him like a wife with her husband (even though he is in a coma...?) Pages later, she is pregnant by him? And then there is a brief, brief mention of him with another guy...and then, pages later on, he is in love? I feel like these were details that SHOULD have been built upon more? It left me feeling random, and mildly annoyed. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
''Son of a Witch" is vintage Maguire, thoroughly entertaining even at its darkest. Oz is as complex and satisfying a fantastic world as ever, wonderfully described, from the steam rising out of the marshes to the sloe-eyed young homeless on the Emerald City streets.
added by stephmo | editBoston Globe, Sarah Smith (Jul 19, 2009)
Enchanted elephants and dragon death squads — Maguire's sequel to his 1995 best-seller, Wicked, is as fantastical as a novel set in Oz should be.
As a result the story - which is meant to contain great love and great tragedy as well as great invention - tends to slip awkwardly between registers. Maguire may have successfully done away with Dorothy, but he hasn't quite got control of his broomstick yet.
Like the character Liir at its center ("a solitary figure untroubled by ambition, unfettered by talent, uncertain of a damn thing"), the novel suffers from entropy. It wanders around, off-kilter and aimless: "A year passed, another. Nothing was the same, year after year, but little was different, either."

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gregory Maguireprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maguire, GregoryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, DouglasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have no fear that the poetry of democratic peoples will be found timid or that it will stick too close to the earth. I am much more afraid that it...may finish up by describing an entirely fictitious country.

-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835, 1840
All cows were like all other cows, all tigers like all other tigers -- what on earth has happened to human beings?

-- Harry Mulisch, Siegfried, 2001
A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles.

-- Thomas Jefferson, 1798
My mother was a westerne woman and learned in gramarye

-- K. Estmere, 1470, collected in Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 1765
L. Frank Baum's second Oz novel, The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), was dedicated to the actors David C. Montgomery and Fred A. Stone, who performed the roles of the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow in the first theatrical version of The Wizard of Oz.

In that spirit, Son of a Witch is dedicated to the cast and creative team of the musical Wicked, which opened on Broadway in October 2003 -- the night before Halloween.

To Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz, foremost and first, for their vision; to Wayne Cilento, Susan Hilferty, Eugene Lee, Joe Mantello, Stephen Oremus, Kenneth Posner, and Marc Platt and his associates, for bringing visions to life; and, among all the capable cast, most expecially to Kristen Chenoweth (Galinda/ Glinda), Joel Grey (The Wizard), and Idina Menzel (Elphaba), for bringing life to visions.
First words
So the talk of random brutality wasn't just talk.
"Any murder at all, of any sort, is a murder of hope, too."
There is no resolving a good mess, he thought. Every breath one takes is a waking up into disjointedness, over and over.
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AR 6.0, 18 Pts
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060747226, Paperback)

Ten years after the publication of Wicked, beloved novelist Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz to introduce us to Liir, an adolescent boy last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully, Liir is shattered in spirit as well as in form. But he is tended to at the Cloister of Saint Glinda by the silent novice called Candle, who wills him back to life with her musical gifts. What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape—but what of her powers? Can he find his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prison, Southstairs? Can he fulfill the last wishes of a dying princess? In an Oz that, since the Wizard's departure, is under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up? Discover the captivating tale that has taken fans of Wicked even deeper into the magical world of Oz.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:20 -0400)

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Ten years after the publication of 'Wicked', we return to the land of Oz, to follow the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy confronted the witch.

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