Ten years after the publication of Wicked, beloved novelist Gregory
Maguire returns at last to the land of Oz. There he introduces 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 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?
For the countless fans who have been dazzled and entranced by Maguire's Oz,
of a Witch is the rich reward they have awaited so long.
The Washington Post - Katherine A. Powers
Though Wicked was not simply a reverse image of Baum's book or the
famous movie, it depended on their depictions of Oz as a foil for its own
maverick reshaping of the narrative. Those for whom potty humor is the acme of
wit and foul decay is horror sublime will be happy to know that Son of a
Witch is as well-supplied with those articles as the earlier book was.
What it has lost, however, is the shaping vigor gained by pushing against a
The New York Times Book Review - Sophie Harrison
Maguire clearly feels most comfortable when inventing freehand, and most of
his novel is set after the original Oz story ends. Dorothy's presence in the
text causes difficulties. She belongs too frankly in someone else's fairy
tale; her arrival strains Maguire's own confident production in an unhappy
way...Once he's freed himself from Baum's tenacious apron strings, Maguire
begins to enjoy himself, and the story picks up.
Maguire's captivating, fully imagined world of horror and wonder
illuminates the links between good and evil, retribution and forgiveness.
works too hard to dazzle us; it's considerably more cluttered and strained
than Wicked.....but few readers will fail to stay its magical course. Once again,
the myth of Oz proves its enduring power.
Booklist - Paula Luedtke
This is no lightweight fairytale--entertaining, to be sure, but
also complex and multilayered in plot and meaning, thought-provoking, and
Tucked into Maguire's enchanting fable are carefully calibrated
object lessons in forgiveness, retribution, love, loss and the art of moving
on despite tragic circumstances. Ten years after Wicked (which is still on
Broadway), fans will once again be clicking their heels with wonderment.
Library Journal - Starr E. Smith
A tale that adroitly mixes drama, humor, and political satire into a well-knit
examination of good and evil-and leaves several doors open for future journeys
over the rainbow into this cleverly constructed dystopia.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Janey Worth a read if you've read Wicked I felt compelled to finish this book having enjoyed Wicked so much. Unfortunately the author seems more intent on getting across to the reader a lot of underlining meaning, emotion and politics which will go over the average readers head (as it... Read More
Rated of 5
by Kimberlee ehhhh I enjoyed the book at first because it picked up exactly where it left off, but as I read on I started to become disappointed. I noticed that the pages were getting fewer and there wasn't much that was resolved. I was completely confused at the end... Read More
Rated of 5
by Toni Did I just waste several days of my life? Yes, I sure did. I had read Wicked and thought it was a fun, quick, interesting and original book to read. Son of a Witch on the other hand fell flat. I was expecting some climatic plot revelations but got nothing. There were no interesting story... Read More
Rated of 5
by Travis What on earth happened? I have to confess, I didn't love Wicked but I at least thought it was clever. Son of a Witch however, wow - just useless. It was like Maguire didn't even know what it was about. There were several throw away conflicts that were not the least bit... Read More
Rated of 5
by Natasha No Son of Mine I eagerly awaited this book. I read it as soon as it came out and I am still bitter for lack of a better word for spending my money on this book.
As I was reading I felt disappointed but tried to push through it and give the author the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Captain Beyond Disappointed! Words can barely describe my disappointment and frustration at Son of a Witch. I've read and enjoyed many of Mr. Maquire's other work, but I can't help but wonder if in his haste to capitalize on the phenomenal success of Wicked, he failed to come... Read More
Maguire is the author of a
number of books including
Confessions of an Ugly
Stepsister, Lost, Mirror
Mirror, and Wicked,
the basis for the Tony
Broadway musical; and
Leaping Beauty, a
book of short stories for
children. He has lectured on art
and culture at the Isabella
Stewart Gardner Museum and the
DeCordova Museum as well as at
conferences around the world. An
occasional reviewer for the "New
York Times Book Review" he lives
with his family near Boston,
Massachusetts, and in Vermont.
When asked what prompted him to
write Wicked, Maguire
replied "I was living in London
in the early 1990's during the
start of the Gulf War....
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