After reading Wicked, I was so excited to get into this one. Unfortunately, getting into it was a problem. I think it took me 7 months to finish this book, because I kept putting it down for something more interesting. Finally, I really got into the story - only to realize that I had just finished the last page. This was a huge disappointment for me.
I really loved Wicked, and was so excited for the sequel that I bought a hardcover copy (which I hardly ever do). I was disappointed in this book, however. I felt the story of Elphaba's son, Liir, was left twisting in the wind - it was a winding, kind of long-winded story, and I wasn't really engaged in it as much as I could have been. Liir as a character annoyed me. I thought, for most of the book, he was weak and whiny. Maybe that's why I liked it less than I thought I would!
Leah (VeganFreak) reviewed Son of a Witch (Wicked Years, Bk 2) (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on
Helpful Score: 5
I didn't like this as much as Wicked. I loved Wicked and was very invested in Elphaba. This book follows Liir and I wasn't as interested in his character, probably due to Elphaba's indifference to him in the first book.
I do enjoy the Oz that Maguire has created, and would read another book if he set one there. It has so many neat races of people and political intrigue that could be investigated further.There are also other characters that would be interesting as the main character, like Elphaba's sister or Glinda, for instance.
So, it's not as good as Wicked, but it still set in an interesting world with odd characters. I just wasn't a big fan of Liir.
A very strange coming of age story. I liked the different take on Oz, and I loved the style with which Maguire puts sentences together. Some of the imagery was fabulous. But the story meandered and there was no clear plot or goal, nor was there much accomplished in the end.
I have to say that I liked this one better than Wicked. But it was still lacking just a little bit. Left a lot of unanswered questions... like what happened to Nor, which we get a clue to and is Liir her son? Which I think is obvious. I think I'll read the others, just to find out what happened. My favorite Maguire book still is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.
I did see a lot of similarities to the Revelutionary War, just as a minor point.
Lynne T. (lynneatl) reviewed Son of a Witch (Wicked Years, Bk 2) (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on
Helpful Score: 3
While I thought this book was much better than Wicked, I found it to be just as depressing as the first one. It was only in the last fourth of this book that the story finally started to get interesting. The main character Liir, like his mother before him, never seems to accomplish much until nearly the ending of the book. He is neglected and abused his whole childhood and he doesn't fare much better in early adulthood. The dialogue between the characters has to be read carefully as well -- facial expressions, thoughts, and body language are not described when the characters are speaking to each other so sometimes it is difficult to tell if the conversational remarks are humorous, used with sarcasm or are meant to be cruel. If there is a next book in this series I will probably read it just to find out if the story continues to improve.
Son of a Witch, much like Wicked, is slow to build an interesting plot. The book's ending, which didn't really seem to end much at all*, is disappointing. Maguire still uses wonderfully creative imagery to fuel the mind's eye. The plot doesn't have political double ententre like the first novel, and delivers much less expression to a specific ideal (revolution, etc.).
* A third installment in the series has been released.
I was really impressed with Son Of A Witch's predecessor, Wicked. Written a decade earlier, Wicked had a set purpose - beyond the art of storytelling (and the story WAS wonderful), Wicked had an underlying intention of exploring the possible many roots of evil.
Son of a Witch falls flat. It serves merely as a continuance of Wicked's story line, and altogether abandons the philosophical wonderings of Wicked. Like the younger sibling being asked by teachers, "Why can't you be more like your older sister?" -- the second in the series would have probably been fine as a standalone, but as a follow-up, it's disappointing.
I gave it three stars -- the story develops nicely, but it's just a nice story. There's nothing more to it.
I almost feel as if Maguire wrote the sequel as an answer to a decade of demand - his readership wanting to know "what happened next?" - instead of in answer to his own personal desire to create and write. It's lacking.
This book kept me on my toes! Had to pay attention! My opinion of this book is that it is fascinating. The characters weave in and out of the begginings of the story 'The Wizard of Oz'! Little did we know all of this secret hush-hush shenanigans were going on in and around the Emerald city! Shell trying to wrap his head around who his real mom was. Lo and behold the birth of Candle's daughter summed it up in a nutshell! Loved this book!
I supposed I'm one of the few people who actually enjoyed the sequel to the phenomenon that is known as "Wicked". In "Son of a Witch", which is full of political intrique and mystery, the coming-of-age of Elphaba's son, Liir, is explored. Some have complained that they found Liir unengaging or even annoying, but I found his character to be very realistic and quite sympathetic, especially during passages when his murky, somewhat neglected past is discussed. The fantasy elements are woven into the character study seamlessly, and the Oz that Gregory Maguire expands is even darker than in "Wicked". I found myself rooting for Liir throughout the narrative, expecially on his quest to find his half-sister Nor, and to help the dying Elephant princess Nastoya. Overall, this novel is not "Wicked" (few books are), but it is a worthwhile successor and continuation of a very unique and unquestionably creative world and the people that inhabit it.
I tolerated getting through this book. I kept thinking it was going to get better - and about the time I was 3/4 of the way through, it did. In my opinion, there is a whole lot of unnecessary writing and detail that has no real bearing on anything and had it been left out would've made the book much better; much shorter, but m uch better!
I am still personally enjoying the faerie tale series more than the Oz series. I will continue to read every book Maguire has written in this series because the world and characters he puts together are so richly imagined, and a mirror to our own world only with more colorful creatures, norms, and cultures. The ending of this book ABSOLUTELY hooked me in, again I think Maguire really opens up in the end to grab the reader and keep them coming back. An entertaining and richly detailed literary journey.
I did not love or hate this book. It is what it is and though I could have lived my life without reading it, I am no less intelligent for having read it. I have to mention I was half way through five months ago when I gave birth to my son and though I've read three other books since then, this was too slow and I had to force myself to finish it. I can't say I would recommend it.
This was read by the author and he wasn't the best one for that job. He was pretty flat.
I'd read some of his earlier work and swore I woudln't read him again. Then, I got talked into reading Wicked which I LOVED! I thought that maybe he'd improved so I got this one. No, apparently Wicked was just a fluke! I finished this, but it isn't one I'd recommend.
Good book. Not quite as good as Wicked, but up there with Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister (which I really enjoyed although not as much as Wicked). The story centers around Elphaba's son, Liir and tells the story of his growing up and what happens to him after the Wizard and Dorothy have left Oz. It was really good, very entertaining. A little formulaic in some parts, but overall really quite good. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Nothing as good as wicked. The main character is forgettable at best. Fabulous writing as always from Maguire and the continuation of the story of what happens in OZ post Elphaba interesting but the vehicle through which the story is told is annoying.
A great premise, but hard to muddle through at times.
(this is going to be pretty short)
This book is good. I won't say it isn't. It just wasn't my cup of tea this time around. I feel like it was too removed from the greatness that was Wicked - the dialogue felt stilted, the characters lackluster, the plot hard to get through compared with the former book. This book falls unfortunate victim to the old malady of 'sequelitis.' As a standalone, it's interesting enough, and well-done in its own way. But in the shadow of Wicked, it just doesn't please me as much.
Gregory Maguire is an excellent writer. In spite of what I felt were weakened characters and awkward dialogue, the main character Liir still managed to connect to me. I felt engaged it certain points by him, or intrigued by other characters. The main problem is the long dumps of boring or no action - I continually felt myself wanting to put the book down.
The story is just as sad and heart-breaking as the first, the perspective as woe-begotten as the former. It's well done, but heart-rending.
If you enjoyed Wicked, by all means, pick up this book. For the attentive and dedicated reader, it will engage and inspire. If you're feeling ADD, I recommend leaving it until you're ready to get focused. :)
This Maguire story continues the story line started in Wicked. However unlike most of his other stories this one did not seem to have a historical setting or political purpose as the base of the tale. This was simply the next chapter in the story of Oz. I found it enjoyable enough but Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister still remains my unrivaled favorite of Maguire tales. I still will look forward to the third book . . . but without the expectation of a historical or political underlying theme.
I am a huge fan of Gregory Maguire in general and the Elphaba story specifically. This book did not disappoint. It was as well written and thoughtful as its predecessor. I can't wait to see if there will be a third.
Son of a Witch
Oatsie Manglehand, a woman who leads the Grasstrail Train, discovers the body of a young man, badly bruised and near death, by the side of a road in the Vinkus. Oatsie brings the man to the Cloister of Saint Glinda. The Superior Maunt recognizes the young man and identifies him as Liir, the young boy who left the Cloister with Elphaba a decade or so ago.
His care is given to Candle a Quadling girl who plays the, a Quadling guitar-like instrument. This among other things helps guide Liir back to consciousness. When Liir is better he and Candle go to the apple farm and then Liir goes onto the conference of the birds where he is asked to become the human ambassador for the birds.
While in the Emerald City, he sees Trism bon Cavalish, who informs him that the Emperor Apostle, the current ruler of Oz, is none other than a born-again Shell. Trism also reveals the dragons are sent out to terrorize the population of Oz and ensure submission to the Emperor's authority. Liir convinces Trism to help him destroy the dragons, and after poisoning their food, they recover Elphaba's broom and cloak and flee the City. Liir leaves a note saying he has kidnapped Trism, signing himself "Liir, son of Elphaba" this is the first time Liir claims to be Elphabas child.
During their flight, Liir and Trism become lovers. They eventually end up at the Cloister of Saint Glinda. Liir leaves on Elphabas broom returning to the Conference of Birds, Liir flies about Oz, collecting and training a huge flock of Birds, which he leads to the Emerald City. Over the City, they fly in formation as a huge representation of the Witch, with Liir as "the keen black eye of the Witch."
Returning to Apple Press Farm, Liir finds Candle is gone, but he finds wrapped in Elphaba's cloak a newborn baby who he initially thinks is dead but revives under his care. Holding the baby up to the rain to wash away the birth blood, she "cleans up green."
The narrative is not chronological for the first part of the book: in the first two sections but shifts between the time when Liir left Kiamo Ko after the death of Elphaba to the time when Candle and Liir leave the Cloister. The second two sections tell the story chronologically from Candle and Liir's arrival at Apple Press Farm to the end. Maguire clearly feels most comfortable with inventing in this book, most of this novel is set after the original Oz story ends. The little bit we see Dorothy in this story she is a difficult pain and the other characters are equally not as convincing. Overall it is a transition novel as many of the storylines remain unresolved and set the stage for the coming conflict that can be anticipated in Maguire's next book.
I was really excited to read this book, only to find out that I loved WIcked because of Elphaba's character, which this book lacked. Other than that it is a good story, even if it drags in some places.
Felt like a preview for the next book in the series. I loved Wicked, but this book wasn't as good. the story dragged and the ending felt empty, like I just read a 300+ page introduction to another story.
This book was so disappointing. I will start out by saying that I fell in love with Wicked and adore the whole story. This one, not so much. Liir is an idiot and it gets ridiculously irritating. This book, well, I finished it quickly because I wanted to get to A Lion Among Men. As another review stated, I got into it on the LAST page. The title of the last chapter enticed me throughout the read and I awaited reading that chapter. "No Place Like It" definitely referenced Wizard of Oz. However, that chapter was like maybe 5 pages long & ended when it got good.
Too many events take place in Liir's life and none of them are substantial or interesting. For Elphaba's plot, she was clearly growing, maturing, and learning more throughout her story.
Liir, however, I've still yet to figure out.
12 CDs, 14 hours, Unabridged, read by Gregory Maguire
Sadly, it was a mistake for Gregory Maguire to read his own work. He is somewhat hissy, requiring me to turn the treble way down. He is by turns stiff and overly dramatic. Character voices don't always stay the same and have strange accents that garble the words. I felt that it improved as the story went on, but I may have just gotten used to him. This was a difficult listen, although the story was strong enough, particularly in the second half, that I did manage to finish.
This story picks up a short while after Wicked ends. Liir is struggling with life after the death of the Wicked Witch of the West. There are many questions that he has, most pressing â is he Elphaba's son? Liir sets out on a journey to try and find some answers to his life. This path leads him into interaction with Dorothy, Glinda, the army, and the maunts (like nuns). Liir has to find out who he is and this story really is about him coming of age in the shadow of a well known Witch.
I would definitely recommend reading Wicked before picking up this one otherwise you will be completely lost as to who the characters are and what is going on in the Land of Oz. Like Wicked, a lot of what happens in the story is based on the political upheaval in Oz. I had read Wicked a couple of years ago, and I still had some trouble following the politics of the land. In this book, Dorothy and her 3 friends (4 if you count Toto) have more of a role. Other than them, Liir and Glinda, you really won't recognize any of the characters from the traditional story of Oz. This was a little bit of a problem for me as a reader. Unlike Wicked, I couldn't connect with the characters â even though they we mentioned in passing or were related to the traditional characters, I just didn't feel for them as much.
The narrator of this audio book was the author, Gregory Maguire, and I'm not sure that I liked him as the narrator. He gave individual voices to all of the characters (and even did a little signing too!) but somehow it just didn't keep me interested. I think that my opinion of the book might have been changed if I had read the book or if it had a different narrator. Sometimes the author is just not the best choice.
I found the book hard to get into at the beginning, but by the end I was rooting for Liir on his quest and hoping he would find what he was looking for. I want to read the third book in the Wicked series, A Lion Among Men, focusing on the life of the Cowardly Lion, but I think I will take some time before I jump into that one.
Bruised, comatose and left for dead in a gully, Liir is shattered in spirit as well as in form. At the Cloister of Saint Glinda the silent novice Candle tends to him, willing him back to life with her unusual musical gifts. What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape â but what of her powers? Can he find his half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prisin 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?
This book is the 2nd in a series (Wicked is the first one), telling the "Wizard of Oz" story in a different perspective. Elphaba is the Wicked Witch of the West, who was killed by Dorothy.
The characters are developed well, the story flows and there are mysteries within mysteries to keep the reader interested.
I liked it. Definitely shows a different perspective of the Land of OZ. You feel for the wicked witch and her "son". It was easy from the writing to envision the land and details of the adventure of the Son of A Witch.
I heard all the raves on Wicked. I read it but it took me forever to finish the book. I picked up the Son of a Witch right around the same time I received the first. Strange enough, I enjoyed Son of a Witch far more than I enjoyed Wicked. I finished it faster too!
I am a big fan of Wicked and Gregory Maguire. I was totally entrigued by Elphaba and I feared this book would not live up to my expectations of the author. I am pleased to say, while not as unusual as Wicked, Son of a Witch holds its own. For me, it was a much faster read, probably because I am now used to Maquire's style. I love the way the author provides us with interesting and flawed characters to love and/or hate. What I really find delightful is the authors sharp and insightful comments on the nature of policts, religion and ethics. As another reviewer mentioned, I wanted to hear some of this dialogue out loud...so I read it that way. I was planning on passing this on to someone else when I finished but I've decided that I want to read it again, along with a second pass at Wicked. I was going to wait for the latest OZ book, A Lion Among Men, to arrive here but I know I have to buy it....Now.
As a "sequel" book I thought this one measured up. Of course if you loved Wicked you may not love this one as much. It took me 100 pages just to get into Wicked and it turned out to be one of my very favorite books.
I was into this one from the beginning and it held my interest throughtout. I thought it was great but having read it so far after Wicked it was hard for me to remember relationships and characters and circumstances.
I still thought it was a worth while read to continue on the Wicked coattails!
A great story that spans a number of years with descriptions. The character did seem a little emo, also lovable. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger and a little disturbing...I do hope there is another!
The first time I read this book, I didnt think much of Liir himself. Hes a rather obtuse boy who becomes a rather obtuse sort of man. Subsequent readings have somewhat altered that perception of him, but on the whole, hes still very frustrating to me. I cant remember the last time I read a character who seems to despise themselves this much and thinks so little of their own value. Oh wait, yes I can it was Bella Swan!
Liir is a boy who has really suffered from not knowing the truth of his parentage and to an extent, no one fully knows that truth anyway. It becomes clear over the course of both Wicked and this novel that he is, in fact, the offspring of Elphaba and Fiyero, although even to the reader I guess were never quite sure about that either. So I can see how Liir would be so confused, and happy to just wander around wherever the wind blows him for quite some time.
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This is the second book in Maguire's "The Wicked Years" series. For whatever reason, I enjoyed this one a bit more than Wicked, perhaps because it was shorter and therefore the parts that "dragged" didn't seem as long as they did in Wicked? Anyway, this book follows Liir, the young man who accompanies Elphaba in the later part of the first book. Liir doesn't know if Elphaba was really his mother or not, but this book follows Liir's emotions as he deals with Elphaba's death, tries to piece his own life together, and searches for Nor, his young friend and possible half-sister who was captured by the Wizard's troops in Wicked. We find out what happens to Oz after the "Wicked Witch of the West" dies, get a better look at Mother Yackle (or Yackle) the mysterious creature who often appeared throughout Elphaba's life, and what happened to the Animals after the Wizard leaves. I was disappointed that this book left so many loose ends unraveled, but I guess that's so the third book could be written. Anyway, this is a perfectly good book to read when you are looking for something to lose your imagination in and rediscover the version of Oz that Maguire puts forth to us in Wicked.
I loved this book. I actually thought it was better than Wicked-or it hooked me faster. Maybe I was more used to Maguire's Oz, and wasn't comparing it so much with The Wizard of Oz. Now I want to read Lion Among Men to see if they answer any of the questions that are left hanging at the end of the book.
I was really not a very big fan of this book. It took a long time for me to finish reading it because I kept getting bored. A lot of it almost seems pointless to put in the book. It was, however, interesting to find out what happened to Elphaba's son. I want to read the third book in this series. I don't anticipate it being any better or worse than this one. Overall I guess I'm glad that I read it. I guess sequels are never quite as good as the originals.
Bleah, I grow tired of Mr Maguire's style of writing. Was intrigued by "Wicked" but found my enthusiasm lagging with each reading of his other books. Could hardly get through the first chapter of this book. Just wasn't my style. Seems if you've read one of his books, you've read them all. He has been riding this "retelling of fairytales" horse too long.
I read Wicked and picked this book up to see what happened to Liir. The story was great, and I enjoyed reading it, but since I have passed on Wicked to someone else, I am seeking to do the same with Son of Witch.
The long-anticipated sequel to the beloved and hugely successful novel Wicked, now Broadway's #1 smash hit musical
When a Witch dies-not as a crone, withered and incapable, but as a woman in her prime, at the height of her passion and prowess-too much is left unsaid. What might have happened had Elphaba lived? Of her campaigns in defense of the Animals, of her appetite for justice, of her talent for magic itself, what good might have come? If every death is a tragedy, the death of a woman in her prime keenly bereaves the whole world. Ten years after the publication of Wicked, bestselling novelist Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz to follow the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy did in the Witch.
A decade after the Witch has melted away, the young man Liir is discovered bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully. Shattered in spirit as well as in form, he is tended by the mysterious Candle, a
foundling in her own right, until failed campaigns of his childhood bear late, unexpected fruit.
Liir is only one part of the world that Elphaba left behind. As a boy hardly in his teens, he is asked to help the needy in ways in which he may be unskilled. Is he Elphaba's son? Has he power of his own? Can he
liberate Princess Nastoya into a dignified death? Can he locate his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in shackles in the Wizard's protection? Can he survive in an Oz little improved since the death of the Wicked Witch of the West? Can he learn to fly?
In Son of a Witch, Gregory Maguire suggests that the magic we locate in distant, improbable places like Oz is no greater than the magic inherent in any hard life lived fully, son of a witch or no.
The book is very good, but I lost the cover jacket so if the person that want this book want it like that i'm very happy to psss it along. It is a very good book that talk about the life of the son of the wicked witch of the west.