|Son of a Witch: Volume Two in the Wicked Years
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The long-anticipated sequel to the million-copy bestselling novel Wicked
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, Son of a Witch is the rich reward they have awaited so long.
- Too many loose ends
If this book isn't crying out at the end for another sequel, I don't know what is. You could drive a truck through all the loose ends, and the climax of the book is, well, anticlimatic. However, Maguire does an excellent job of delivering once again a place that is not your children's Oz. This is a great allegory of religious zeal run amok, as well as an administration that keeps people riled up against each other. (Remind you of any administrations in the present-day US?) I especially like that it is not the worship of the Unnamed God in itself that is bad, but an overriding zeal led by those who don't understand that God is greater than any of us. Despite the loose ends, I recommend this novel....more info
- Random, disjointed, and totally unbelievable
I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed "Wicked", and like many was willing to enter that world again. Unfortunately, "Son of a Witch" is just poorly written. We follow a sullen, joyless boy who steadfastly insists that there is no possibility that he is interesting or talented in any way. Unfortunately, he's right.
The book is full of non sequiturs both emotionally and in the logic of the story line, including: a completely random episode of homosexual sex, a life changing experience that seemingly makes no impression on the character (not the sex), a random appearance of a wizard like character, and immaculate conception of a child.
Who let this book go to press?...more info
- decent enough read
liir was such indecisive character. He spent most of his time either escaping reality or thinking about how possible it was that elphaba was his mum. The story was extremely slow at times, but as if on que would pick up the pace once it got too droll. I didn't really have anything against the excessive self discovery/realisation bits, but I was definitely pissed off at how after all that happened, he was still the same wishy washy character he was at the start of the book. After all his wanting to be emotionally attached to someone, he just HAD to go and mess things up by being indecisive. Ah well, if only the end didn't leave you in the dark about so many things, like: Is he a bi? Has realising who his mum is, changed his perception of himself? Did the chic abondon him because of the baby(or his divided affections), or did she really try to lead the soldiers away from him? ...more info
- "Wickedly" Wonderful
If Wicked was good for you you will enjoy this sequel so much!
highly reccomended, it made me become a fan of Maguire's work!...more info
- Loved it
I wont write much, since I'm on my quicklylosingpower kindle, but let it be known that I absolutely adored and thoroughly enjoyed Son of a Witch. It is one of my favorites....more info
- NOT A FANTASY ENTHUSIAST! BUT THIS IS GOOD!
I must a be honest...I never read "Wicked"...So I cannot pick up on anything or give any comparison to "Son of a Witch." Liir, the son, has so many problems, and of course he is adapting to the loss of his love one. I found this real...about the only thing that was real! Thank goodness it is fantasy, as the author can take total control. It is obvious Gregory Maguire has an outstanding imaginary ability. I guess I should call it the ability to fantisize. A friend suggested I read more fantasy,and recommended this book. I must admit it is quite different from my normal read. It was entertaining reading...but yet...some of the segments, to me, did not fit together. But...it was well worth the read, and Mr. Maguire is a most talented writer. Peggy Inez, Author, ISBN:978-159858-400-4 The Gully...more info
I think this follow up to wicked supercedes wicked itself. I found this book delightful and am sure will eventually reread it. It's not as lacily written as wicked which while that makes some beautiful writing some of the plot was lost underneath all the delicate and lacy words while Son of a Witch maintains the essence of the story line and while still political is a joy to read....more info
- an insult to Baum and readers
Liir, presumed son of the Wicked Witch (Elphaba), is on a quest to find his identity and his (maybe) half-sister. And nothing happens. As a fan of Baum's quirky and lovely original books, I can't quite get on board with Maguire. He sucks the magic and mystery out of Oz by soaking it in political and religious rhetoric and endless boring discussions on those matters. It is as if he doesn't trust readers of fantasy to be able to understand allegory. Baum did, and he was writing for children. Maguire's story is bogged down with these aspects, taking away from the characters and the magic, and boring his readers to tears. The novel rambles and seems to lack any point at all. His language is as silly as it is pointless, particularly is constant similes/metaphors, for instance, comparing the Cowardly Lion in the rain to "a stone lion in a fountain". He uses obscure vocabulary that breaks the flow of the reading. And, as a fan of the original works, I can't understand why he even bothers to place his work in Oz except as an excuse to cash in on another's work and shock the readers by making something so fluffy and light as Oz into a dark and political world. It's pretentious. I won't be reading anything else by this author, and I chucked out all his other books. Grade: F...more info
- Still good
Do you really want to read a book that is better than Wicked? If anybody expects any of the next wicked years to be better than the first they are in for a let down. Son of a Witch is an awesome book but it is a sequel to an amazing book. I think Maguire did the best he could without topping Wicked. Why try to top Wicked when everyone loves it so much? Son of a Witch is a great book with an ending that makes you love Elphaba and her story even more....more info
- Wicked sequel
This book was good, but not as good as Wicked, of course. I still enjoyed it very much. It is very dark in parts and exciting. I think I did not like it as much as Wicked because I do not find Liir to be a very likeable character, still it was wonderful to be in Oz again and this book left me eager to read "A Lion Among Men"....more info
- Very Dull
I found this book extremely dull. I can't believe this is the same author who wrote Wicked. I found myself wanting to quit this book or at least read another book along with it because it is slow and it rambles. Mr. Maguire flips back and forth between the Liir now and the Liir from Wicked. Sometimes there's no warning of the flipping. It's in the middle of the chapters and there's no rhyme or reason. Just sad that he felt the need to write this book without a clear picture in his head of what he wanted. I think this is a typical middle book of a series which he's obviously writing now since Amazon has up as a subtitle Wicked Years 2. Middle books usually are just about what is going to happen. Which based on the ending I think will be something wild. Oh well. I'll chalk this one up as a rush job and try to remember to pick up another one of his books sometime in the future....more info
I really did not think I was going to like this book, The first chapter started out too violent. I am glad that I kept reading. I read it within a week of reading Wicked, and I really enjoyed it. It was great having some of the OZ characters, that I was familiar with, along with new charters. Wicked was different, a little strange because you know the fate of Elphaba. THere was more suspense in this one. I plan on reading more of this authors books, and well as the original OZ stories.
- The Son is nothing like the Mother!!!
I started to read this book about a month after I read the fabulous Wicked. I did not know however, that I would not finish this one. Going into this book is a disaster. I had to skip the first 30 pages because of boredom. After the next ten pages I sadly decided to stop reading it. Many reviewers have their different opinions why it went so bad. My idea and solution is that GREGORY MAGUIRE WROTE THIS TEN YEARS AFTER WICKED!!! His heart wasn't still in the story, he didn't remember the wonderful characters and world he created. I did read however, the last couple of pages in the book and saw that there might possibly be a third book but I highly doubt it. If he is writing a third book and once I hear of it I will get the audiotape of this book and finish it that way so I don't have to waste a lot of my time.
P.S. I also wanted to stop reading the book because I absolutely love Wicked and it is my favorite book in the world and I didn't want my opinion to change because of this book. ...more info
- Very different from Wicked but completely worth the read
Son of a Witch is certainly much different than Wicked. I can see why many people were diappointed with this book as they were probably expecting a second Wicked. This is not the case. Liir and Elphaba are very different thus have very different stories.
This book has its charms in the fact that Liir is not sure of himself at all. He does not have a concerete plan, he doesn't know where to go. It is through the course of the book and all his experiences that he must figure out who he is or at least who he feels he is. Does it even really matter if he is the witch's son or not?
Through the course of the book he falls into a number of things, the army included. His moral center is not perfectly set and not everything he does is good and in a way we can see Elphaba in him there. Gradually however we see him become much like Elphaba in the causes he takes on and what he does. The novel moves in a rather different way from Wicked. While Elphaba started out idealistic and cause driven only to descend into near insanity and hermitage, Liir begins lost and naive only to become clearer in what the world is, what love is, and what gifts he does posess.
I enjoyed the novel a great deal. I liked very much how different Liir was in many respects from Elphaba but how he never could really leave her in the past. As a result if you looked you could see her over and over in things he did. I enjoyed the imagrey as always with Maguire and the somewhat darker tone, if you can believe that, of the novel.
I think if you are looking for a repeat Wicked you won't find it here but if you like Maguire's writing style, have read his other books you will enjoy this....more info
- Sometimes you have to finish what you started
I really wanted to like this book. I was a big fan of Wicked and wanted to see more of that world. But this book just one big story about a sullen young man that really has no idea what he wants or where to go. There was some of the book that I enjoyed but the majority was just boring. I seldom finish a book that I find slow but sometimes you have to finish what you started. Others have said that the ending of the book was just tossed together to add an ending but to me the ending of the book seemed like there was no ending just a "too be continued." And that is a follow-up story that I will have to skip.
2 Stars for some good parts, but not much more....more info
- A pointless read
To start off, I have to say that I enjoyed reading "Wicked," and have waded through all of Maguire's work with varying degrees of interest. As for "Son of a Witch," I stopped reading after 72 pages - it is horrible. Maguire is increasingly and pointlessly genital-centric in his novels, which becomes both frustrating and antagonizing after just the first few scenes. While I certainly have no problem with sex and sexuality in fiction and literature, Maguire is simply absurd. Freud would have had a field day with him - I just couldn't make myself turn another page....more info
You may want to read this book, most likely because of your familiarity with his other pieces. You may know he is a very talented writer. This book lacks all of the direction and coherence that Wicked offered, however, and comes off as a confusing plumb-the-depths-of-whatever-soul Bildungsroman. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Wicked and how little I enjoyed this. Alas....more info
- Unnecessary Sequel
Warning: Some spoilers
Is this really the best Maguire could do?
This novel simply didn't need to be written. I didn't find it as oppressively boring as some people did--it wasn't painful to finish--but neither did it keep me turning pages. The main problem is simply that there's no story. Oh, things happen, but a series of vaguely interconnected events do not make a story. A story is a coherent whole. You can't take out a piece without the entire thing falling apart. I feel like I could have taken three random chapters out of this book, and it wouldn't have made much difference. Might even improve it, since the novel is ridiculously slow in parts. The narrative is frequently clumsy, with Maguire--a seasoned writer--making the sort of mistakes a novice would make. Exposition is delivered in clumsy chunks of internal monologue...and half the time, it's exposition we don't even need. I got the sense he was just trying to fill as many pages as he could. There's no way this book ever would have been published if Wicked had not been so wildly successful.
I liked Wicked. It wasn't perfect, but it was new, innovative and filled with gorgeous prose and characters who--despite their strangeness--felt like real people. Son of a Witch feels as though it was written by a different person...like an exceptionally long piece of fanfiction. Even familiar characters don't feel the same. For instance--in Wicked, Dorothy was earnest, kind, and naive. In Son of a Witch, she alternates between postmodern cynicism and acting like a halfwit, spouting random nonsense.
Liir seems to have no defining characteristics and no coherent internal life. He starts to do something, then gives up or loses interest, starts to do something else, et cetera. First he's looking for Nor, then when he can't find her immediately, he joins the army, then when that doesn't work out, he goes back home, and then decides to go to the Bird conference...and so on. He wanders around Oz with no clear goals, and does a few inexplicable, contemptible things which make him difficult to sympathize with. A character doesn't have to be a driven, Type A overachiever in order to be interesting, but they have to WANT something. Liir doesn't want anything in particular. I felt like he was just passing time, and as a result, whenever I picked up the book, I felt like I was just passing time, too. I didn't feel like I was being taken on a journey, I felt like I was just kind of wandering through a place with interesting scenery. And interesting scenery is not enough to hold up a novel.
Trism initially seemed like a cool character. I mean, he can hypnotize dragons with his voice! But somehow, Maguire managed to make him boring, too. We never actually SEE him controlling any dragons, we just hear about it. And then he hooks up with Liir. Eh? Where did that come from? It's not the homosexuality per se that bothered me--people can swing both ways, after all--but the way it seemed to come out of nowhere. There's zero sexual tension, no sense of an attraction building between them, and no emotional connection whatsoever. And the actual sex is so vaguely described that (as one reviewer put it) you could blink and miss the fact that it happened, leaving me to wonder why Maguire even bothered to include this relationship. Like everything else in the novel, it just kind of happens.
In short, don't buy this book unless you have a lot of time on your hands. If you're not expecting much and just want to keep your mind occupied for awhile, it's not an unpleasant read, but as a sequel to Wicked, it falls far short....more info
- Even better than his "Wicked ..."
Author Gregory Maguire begins this sequel with a striking parallel to L. Frank Baum's sequel to his "Wizard of Oz." Even if you do not know the seemingly unending sequels to the original Oz books, you will appreciate Maguire's dedication. (I won't spoil it for you here.) What happens next is a heartfelt, beautifully written second journey into a much darker Oz than we have ever seen in the original stories, but this we knew from "Wicked."
Liir, the title character, is clearly on a quest, one that I never found dull or tedious. Liir feels he is an empty shell and slowly discovers the resilience of his shell and his capacity to fill himself with life. Maguire realizes this search in his character with direct, honest writing, full of humor, beauty and life.
From the filth of a high-security prison in the Emerald City, to the brilliance of eternal Glinda, to the Thousand Year Grasslands, the scope of this Oz is huge and alive. Maguire has done his homework and most touchingly reveals his respect for the Land of Oz in side comments and in the depth of his characters.
Liir begins to appreciate life and relationships eventually and his thoughts and feelings towards the young Quadling woman, Candle and especially towards the enigmatic Trism are passages that are full of wonder and beauty. It was an eye-opening journey to try and see Oz through Liir's eyes.
The treatment of the Animals (as sentient creatures, vs. animals, dumb creatures) is also powerful and moving, especially if one thinks of the layers of our own society and how those in power work to subdue, segregate, oppress, etc., those not like themselves.
Of course, you have to be interested in another world, be it a fantasy or a parallel one. In Maguire's Oz, there are no easy answers or clicking of Silver or Ruby heels as ways out. Magic exists, but using it is as hard as growing up or falling in love. A beautiful, extraordinary book....more info
- Definitely needs some follow-up...
I think that too much of the book was spent on Liir's adolescent years, which were slow moving and not that interesting. It isn't until the last 3rd of the novel that it starts to get really good, and by that time you get into the story, it ends quite abruptly. A good sequel can really make up for this book's early short-comings, but without a decent follow-up, then it's quite disappointing. I felt like a lot of the early stuff could've been shortened or skipped over, and instead the story should've continued further down Liir's life instead of ending when he is only 23 years-old. In "Wicked", the book was barely half way through when Elphaba was that age. Not to mention, the whole point of his journey was to find Nor, yet we really aren't given any answers about her other than the fact that she is alive somewhere.
Also, the relationship between Liir and Candle was never fully fleshed out. A potential follow-up to this book would have to give some explanation as to what happened to Candle. She gives birth to his baby, and we see that they have feelings for each other but it's never exactly expressed clearly. They actually never consummate their relationship with consent. Candle is a character with a lot of potential, kind of an opposite female character of Elphaba, who could've used more fleshing out. It also seemed quite strange and sudden that Liir would have a relationship with Trism when he was seemingly read to devote himself to Candle until then. Perhaps he was so deprived as a child that he's willing to fall in love with anyone that's nice to him, but I could never clearly see what was going on there.
If a good sequel can be written, this book could be a great middle volume, but it doesn't really stand alone. There is simply too much that is left open, and the characters just don't seem finished yet, perhaps because the main character is still so young when the story ends. ...more info
- If languid and cryptic is your style . . .
The follow up to Maguire's hit, Wicked, smacks of an exploitation of the predecessor's success. While the overlong first act is paced interestingly between the present and flashbacks, the eventual fusing of the two at act's end hints at a greater story to come that unfortunately never does. His main character, Liir (who may or may not be the son of the Wicked Witch), spends the bulk of the time searching for an identity, but the greater question is "Why should we care?" Liir is a pensive, timid, demure non-persona who just bobs along with the flotsam of life's journey, and has very little opinion or conviction that comes from himself. He spends his entire journey trying to find himself, and in the end that's all he becomes: a questling. He simply seeks, never finding, and does everything to prove his worth to everyone but himself.
Characters come and go with their typical allegory, and like Wicked, Maguire again shoehorns a late footnote of random and pointless homosexuality into subplots that were already going nowhere, only making them get there faster. By story's end, the sheer futility of it all bears down like a grave sermon orated by a rambling and senile Baptist lay-minister, serious and convicted of purpose but hamstrung by an inability to articulate just what the hell he really wants to say. And while the final pages offer a glimmer of hope, it would take more than that to ask for another journey to Oz in the hands of Maguire....more info
- What a letdown
Wicked was so good that I didn't question it's sequel. Until I read it.
Son of a Witch is very disappointing. Liir's character is poorly developed. The plot was missing something...like an actual plot perhaps. I had a hard time following the story because none of it made any sense. The story just follows Liir around while he runs away from everything (from Kiamo Ko, the army, Elphalba's memory) and leaves many dead ends. Perhaps the author meant to leave loose ends to be able to make another sequel, but I won't be running to buy it....more info
- Son of a Witch
Wonderful sequel to the fabulous "Wicked". I wish they would make both into movies! Follow Liir, Elphaba's could be son, through his adventures after "the witch" dies. Sickened by Dorothy's "cheap" niceness, he floats away from the ragtag fellowship of the yellow brick road and strikes out on his own with a mission.
If you thought Elphaba was a tragic figure of low self esteem and an overwhelming urge for parental love, wait until you meet her possible son. A childhood worthy of "Oliver" he wanders throughout his adolescence trying to find himself, his past, and his long ago kidnapped friend. Or half-sister?
This character is as memorable, endearing, and tragic as Elphaba ever was.
The author is to be commended for both books. How about a third book?...more info
- Another enchanting Oz story
This book starts off slowly and, as another reviewer recommended, it helps to re-read 'Wicked' to get a sense of what's going on. The story concerns the emotional and physical growth of Elphaba's son Liir in a post-Wizard, post-Dorothy Oz. Maguire enjoys wordplay and this book made me reach for the dictionary more than once. Liir begins his life as a tabula rasa (blank slate), unsure if he really is Elphaba's son. Glinda makes a notable appearance in this book, as do the familiar characters of Dorothy (coming across as haughty), the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion.
Maguire is a master storyteller and that's why I love his books. He creates memorable characters and storylines that stay with you long after you've put the book down. ...more info
- Great book
I had to order this book after reading Wicked, also by Gregroy Maguire and found it to be almost as good of a book. I have ordered all the other books currently in publication written by Mr. Maguire....more info