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Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music. 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 power Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music. 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 under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?


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Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music. 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 power Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music. 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 under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?

30 review for Son of a Witch

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danii Goldstein

    I've read a lot of reviews for this book and most people seemed to hate it. You will notice, however, that I gave this book five stars. To those who hated it, I say this: I see what your problems are. The story is badly paced (most of the 'action' happens in the last third), the reader spends most of the time being confused as to what's going on (while it is a third person narrative, it is limited third person), some of the characters seemed half-drawn, the narrative is very disconnected (occasion I've read a lot of reviews for this book and most people seemed to hate it. You will notice, however, that I gave this book five stars. To those who hated it, I say this: I see what your problems are. The story is badly paced (most of the 'action' happens in the last third), the reader spends most of the time being confused as to what's going on (while it is a third person narrative, it is limited third person), some of the characters seemed half-drawn, the narrative is very disconnected (occasionally, emotionless), it completely lacked an ending (...I won't spoil things, but it's left very open ended), and most importantly, that it is nothing like [Wicked]. But here's the thing: a book is more than the sum of it's parts. And a sequel can be more than just the continuation of its predecessor's story. It's something I find rather amusing, considering Liir's struggle throughout the entirety of the book: to find his own voice as he is asked over and over again both by his own desires and by the needs of others to take Elphaba's place. This is his story, and so yes, it is a very different book than [Wicked] and it would ring false if it wasn't. This was something I loved about the book, as the dense, twisted, complex tone of [Wicked] helped to characterize Elphaba for me; the lost, sparser, somewhat unconnected, occasionally clumsy writing very much characterized Liir for me. How anyone could think this anything but deliberate after having read [Wicked] or any of Maguire's other books is something I wonder about; the unreliable (or unknowing) narrator is something I enjoy a great deal and working my way through the doubletalk and reading between the lines of what Liir seemingly took straight almost made it seem like there were two worlds in this book: what Liir saw and what was really going on, a theme that should be well familiar to anyone reading one of Maguire's retreads. I might also mention that this is the Oz that Baum's books never really covered. While Maguire's handling of Dorothy is somewhat fuddled (almost like Liir's), Liir's story is his own making. There is no framework and unlike with Elphaba, no eventual end. We don't know what's to come for him since he is an original creation and this freedom (sometimes terrifying) is another feature of this book that wasn't a part of the prequel. And another part I liked. The pacing, I admit, is a fault of the book. I could have done less with the maunts and had more of Liir's story given to us but all books have their faults. The lack of an ending seems to be part of his plans for a continuation. But if you read this book to slip into someone's world, someone's shoes, to slide behind their eyes and feel and see and know this world from someone uniquely conditioned to see things from something almost like a fourty five degree angle to the rest of his own world... then I think you will enjoy it. If you read this book to travel Oz with Liir, I think you'll enjoy the book. If you read this book to get more of Maguire's unique vision of Oz, you'll enjoy this book. If you've ever felt as if you don't know what you're doing with your life, if you don't think you'll ever live up to expectations, if you've ever felt as if you're just a bit off from everyone else... then yeah. I think you'll like this book. Enjoy it for the experience. Where [Wicked]'s denseness demanded examination, [Son of a Witch] lets you wander about in Oz. The depth is there, but the book skims across the surface. "Hidden depths," Liir once said. "Hidden shallows," another character supplied afterwards. And that's all you will get if you don't care to consider it more closely. So yes, a lot of people hated it. But I, personally, adored it down to my bones and will recommend it to anyone you care to name. Perhaps I could have written this more eloquently or in a more understandable format, but such is life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

    This book was so satisfying. Liir, son of Elphaba, comes into his own and after 266 pages, he begins to do incredible things to help other people, lead, unite, take the helm of his mother’s legacy. And it’s so realistic because he does it while still in a state of confusion and self-doubt, obstacles he never really overcomes (neither did Elphaba really). I love how everyone says to him “if only Elphaba was here to see this…” The Bird Congress aka Witch Nation (charged by Liir to be the eyes of O This book was so satisfying. Liir, son of Elphaba, comes into his own and after 266 pages, he begins to do incredible things to help other people, lead, unite, take the helm of his mother’s legacy. And it’s so realistic because he does it while still in a state of confusion and self-doubt, obstacles he never really overcomes (neither did Elphaba really). I love how everyone says to him “if only Elphaba was here to see this…” The Bird Congress aka Witch Nation (charged by Liir to be the eyes of Oz and share info with other species and humans to foil future despots), rides in the shape of a witch on a broom, and Liir rides in the position as the Eye of the Witch. I loved it when he asked Nanny if she thought Elphaba will have a history and she said “She does already, ninnykins! I just saw her flying up the valley. Her cape went out behind her, a thousand bits in flight (the thousands of birds). Nearly touched the peaks to the left and the right. If that’s not a history, what is?” So, Liir GIVES her a history. I also like how sarcastic he becomes in the middle of the book, like his mother, after life kicks him around a lot, he lies in a coma, etc. At one point he says, “What condition? I’ve been in this condition my whole life. It’s the only condition I know. Bitter love, loneliness, contempt for corruption, blind hope. It’s where I live.” I also love how he becomes a man of wry humor and charm, accepting his fate of never knowing the answers. He tells Elphaba’s monkey “She always liked you better” and smiles at him. The monkey says “Considering who she was, is that a compliment or an insult?” He poisons all the Emperor’s dragons, which in turn saves lives, achieves revenge on Cherrystone, frees the skies for the birds, unites two warring tribes who thought each other was doing the dragon-stuff. He thinks of a way to draw out the voices of the dead, which allows the She-Elephant to die properly. He still does not know if he is Elphaba’s son until the last sentence when he holds up his newborn daughter in the rain to clean her (after finding her dead, wrapped in Elphaba’s cloak, and he revives her). Her skin is green. NOTE: How Maguire is successful in using “perception” of different witnesses and participants to alter our “perception” of the well-known Oz Story is through characters who must act without “knowing all the answers” or “having enough information.” We all face that in life. There are those who do not act because of this lack of enough info, are held back, they are cautious, and they never do anything meaningful. And then there are those who do take risks and act (you will never have all the answers or enough info) and thus make/ change history. In the traditional Oz Story, all the risks Elphaba take are mis-perceived. So, it’s fascinating how he again uses this same tool for the story of Liir, and everything he does could be perceived as bad…but it’s not. Thus, the immense satisfaction. And then you get pieces of additional info that determine he was on the right track, confirm his decisions and actions. No misperception, redirection, just the story of a regular Joe-schmoe who does amazing things. “If only Elphaba was here to see this…” I’m talking about more than a mother’s pride and personal vindication. I’m talking about a righting of the wrongs in the world that her son engineers. And again, I wonder if the son will love the granddaughter properly, being her only caretaker. Obviously yes, because of the way he cared for her immediately, again righting wrongs his mother committed against him. What kind of person will the granddaughter be, what legacy will she leave on the world? How will she carry the burden of Elphaba, the burden of being green. Will Liir ever find Nor? Green: fresh as spring, dewy, not rotten. The first color I learned about in literary symbolism. The green light of Daisy’s house that Jay Gatsby stares at across the water all the time. It meant HOPE, renewal, fresh new growth, a new beginning.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    I love the Wicked series books for the fact that apparently they are "NOTHING LIKE THE PLAY!" to the point that it angers fans of the stage version. If you have time, read some of the one-star reviews for the first book (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37...). It's hilarious how mad these people get. It's like they've been betrayed, tricked into reading this divergence from their beloved baby. Since the play is based on the book, shouldn't they be upset at the play for switching things up and I love the Wicked series books for the fact that apparently they are "NOTHING LIKE THE PLAY!" to the point that it angers fans of the stage version. If you have time, read some of the one-star reviews for the first book (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37...). It's hilarious how mad these people get. It's like they've been betrayed, tricked into reading this divergence from their beloved baby. Since the play is based on the book, shouldn't they be upset at the play for switching things up and muddling their grey matter? If they continued on reading the series (which there's no way in hell they would) no doubt this continuation of Maguire's alternative Oz history would further incense them. It departs even farther from Baum's original work...unless Baum discusses homosexuality in one of his books which I haven't read yet. The tone is more realistic and contemplative. Everything's taken more seriously than your great gran's fancy-free Oz. I'm also a fan of these books for the writing. Gregory Maguire can string words together pretty well! He's a solid tale-teller too, although pacing can be his achilles heel. Those contemplations bog things down a bit now and then. This is definitely not for everyone (certainly not for a certain few!), but if you liked adventuring in the Land of Oz as a kid and long for more now that you're all growed up (and are fully equipped with an open mind), this just might be the escape you were looking for.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I made a mistake reading this book. I should have known from the ending of Wicked that it wouldn't get much better. But I held out hope. My hope was that "well, maybe the ending I didn't get in Wicked, I'll get here, and maybe that was the plan all along, to fully revise things in a sequel, as that would be more the author's OWN and he'd be less pigeon-holed." Alas, that wasn't the case. Again, 98% of this book is a great read. But the two main problems I had with the first book are the problems I I made a mistake reading this book. I should have known from the ending of Wicked that it wouldn't get much better. But I held out hope. My hope was that "well, maybe the ending I didn't get in Wicked, I'll get here, and maybe that was the plan all along, to fully revise things in a sequel, as that would be more the author's OWN and he'd be less pigeon-holed." Alas, that wasn't the case. Again, 98% of this book is a great read. But the two main problems I had with the first book are the problems I have with this book. 1- The pace is way too slow. I like the author's writing. I could read volume after volume of the middle bits of his stories. So if this book were DOUBLE the size, I'd be ok with it. It's just again when I got to the end, I realized that not much had happened. I'll give credit where credit is due though, Liir accomplished about 10 times as much as Elphaba ever did. So this was a step in the right direction. It's just over the course of the two books, I must say, all that really happened was about 5 trips between Kiamo Ko and the Emerald City. A lot of walking. Or flying on a broomstick. The old saying about it's not the reward of the quest, but the quest itself, shines through in both of these books. The "getting there" is a great read. But the endings are so ... well, that's point 2 so let's get to point 2 now. 2- The ending left me flat. Very flat. I'll again give credit where credit is due ... this ending was way better than the ending to Wicked. It was a big step forward. Elphaba really doesn't seem like she's ALLOWED by the writer to accomplish anything. Liir accomplishes a few things of importance. But that's it. That's all. So unless there's a third book on the way, I'm really dissatisfied with the state the story is left in at the very end. Especially with the character of Nor. It seemed like everything I read about her was in fact not needed. Like she could be cut completely out of this book and it wouldn't matter. The same could ALMOST be said of Shell. And Trism. And Candle after they got to Apple Farm Press. If there's a third book, well, I like his writing enough that I'll again fall victim to interest and read it. But until this story gets some better or more complete resolution, I can't in good faith reccommend this to anyone.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    As much as I liked Wicked, I had an inkling I was going to like Son of a Witch even better, especially given the beginning, with the spate of senseless "scrapings" and the discovery of the unconscious boy, who turns out to be Liir, the book's protagonist and the potential son of the Wicked Witch of the West. The beginning was indeed good. Engaging. I especially enjoyed the brief time Liir spent with the Yellow Brick Road friends from The Wizard of Oz. I'm a huge WoO nut, but I didn't have any pro As much as I liked Wicked, I had an inkling I was going to like Son of a Witch even better, especially given the beginning, with the spate of senseless "scrapings" and the discovery of the unconscious boy, who turns out to be Liir, the book's protagonist and the potential son of the Wicked Witch of the West. The beginning was indeed good. Engaging. I especially enjoyed the brief time Liir spent with the Yellow Brick Road friends from The Wizard of Oz. I'm a huge WoO nut, but I didn't have any problem whatsoever with the irreverent, perhaps more realistic way the classic characters were handled. When the silent maunt known as Candle is assigned to take care of Liir, that stuff was pretty good too -- the unconscious Liir's flashbacks were interesting and pulled the plot along nicely. I was totally into it. Around three-quarters of the way into the book, though I started to get annoyed. It didn't look like Liir was going to accomplish anything -- he wasn't going to achieve a gratifying ending to any of his quests and charges, he wasn't going to settle into a romantic relationship, he wasn't going to figure himself out. The book makes Liir out to be a sort of malcontent, but I don't know. He's pretty mild. The only thing that really comes across is the character's confusion as to who he is and what he stands for. And I didn't feel he ever came to any conclusions about that. It was frustrating to get three-quarters into the book and still feel that the protagonist had no sense of purpose. Perhaps his rudderlessness is the point. I could see how that might be the case. But I don't feel that it made for satisfying reading. I'll know I'll reread Wicked again and again, but I don't think Son of a Witch was worth finishing the first time through.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    "Wicked" kind of annoyed me from time to time ... inspite of the fact that I loved reading Elphaba's story. If that book fell a little short ... then this book (the sequel) completely misses the mark. Maguire did okay when he was writing on the basis of someone else's work ... but here on his own he flounders. Whatever it was that did not sit well with me from "Wicked" is found tenfold in the pages of "Son of a Witch." At first I thought that it was just Maguire's take on bits of Baum's original "Wicked" kind of annoyed me from time to time ... inspite of the fact that I loved reading Elphaba's story. If that book fell a little short ... then this book (the sequel) completely misses the mark. Maguire did okay when he was writing on the basis of someone else's work ... but here on his own he flounders. Whatever it was that did not sit well with me from "Wicked" is found tenfold in the pages of "Son of a Witch." At first I thought that it was just Maguire's take on bits of Baum's original story that did not sit well with me ... then I thought maybe it was just his style. Now I think it's just a poorly written book from all angles. I kept reading and hoping that it would get better, that the real story would soon begin, but it didn't and it didn't and it didn't and finally I turned the last page ... and it was over. There have been very few times I felt like reading a book was a waste ... this was one of them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olivera

    I remember reading this book when I was 11 and being highly disturbed by it. It's one of the books I remember quite vividly even now and it kinda stuck with me my whole life, but in a very bad way. I'm still debating whether I should try reading the whole series now that I'm mature enough for it (and have obviously read my fair share of creepy and disgusting books). The fact that this is a second book in a series where I had not even known the first book existed in the time reading it might also I remember reading this book when I was 11 and being highly disturbed by it. It's one of the books I remember quite vividly even now and it kinda stuck with me my whole life, but in a very bad way. I'm still debating whether I should try reading the whole series now that I'm mature enough for it (and have obviously read my fair share of creepy and disgusting books). The fact that this is a second book in a series where I had not even known the first book existed in the time reading it might also be a factor why I had disliked it so much. I remember being so confused to what was going on.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Rae Rich

    I'm not sure why this has an average of 3.32. It's a great entertaining and thought-provoking book. Maybe I'm prejudiced toward GM, but I loved it, and think it came to its inevitable conclusion. Can't wait for the next (which goes into Mother Yackle if anyone's following the series - he read a bit at last year's Grub Street conference). I just looked at some of the other reviews and disagree on so many levels. The kinship of Elphaba and Liir is demonstrated quite well through his behavior and to I'm not sure why this has an average of 3.32. It's a great entertaining and thought-provoking book. Maybe I'm prejudiced toward GM, but I loved it, and think it came to its inevitable conclusion. Can't wait for the next (which goes into Mother Yackle if anyone's following the series - he read a bit at last year's Grub Street conference). I just looked at some of the other reviews and disagree on so many levels. The kinship of Elphaba and Liir is demonstrated quite well through his behavior and to miss that, I think, is missing a large part of the theme [ie, what is wickedness?] Anyhow, there are four parts. My interview with Maguire is on by blog here, if anyone cares to check it out.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am angry at Gregory Maguire. (This will excuse the poor grammar and run-on sentences that may follow.) Very angry. Maguire writes books that are impossible to read; as such, I opted to listen to Son of a Witch on tape after failing to get past the 1st few chapters on more than one occasion. As it turns out, Maguire's books are equally difficult to listen to, especially when the audio reader is the author himself. Although I am now questioning my previous opinion, I had it in my mind that Wicked I am angry at Gregory Maguire. (This will excuse the poor grammar and run-on sentences that may follow.) Very angry. Maguire writes books that are impossible to read; as such, I opted to listen to Son of a Witch on tape after failing to get past the 1st few chapters on more than one occasion. As it turns out, Maguire's books are equally difficult to listen to, especially when the audio reader is the author himself. Although I am now questioning my previous opinion, I had it in my mind that Wicked was a good book. I read it a decade ago during my open-minded college years. As I began Son of a Witch I was excited to learn more about the (presumed) offspring of Elphaba - a character previously so misunderstood and yet so cleverly discovered in Wicked. What new insight could Maguire deliver into the Wonderful World of Oz? None! He provides none! He provides a poorly conceived rambling tale told by an unreliable narrator about an unlikeable wholly self-involved kretin of a main character whose entire drive toward action throughout the story (and that which inspired the story itself as per Maguire's audio interview at the end of the book) is to find his (presumed) half-sister Nor! Who he never finds! And who he decides occasionally he doesn't care to find, oh wait yes he does, or no, oh yes! This book arguably was the sole inspiration behind the phrase, "WTF". Perhaps some of my frustration for this piece of literature stems from how it makes me feel like an idiot. Nevermind my recurrent self analysis of why I was trying to finish it, but so many times I had no idea what was going on. Maguire was literaturely reaching around my back to tap me on my opposite shoulder so I could fall victim to being the clueless one. (I looked everytime!) Had I not been listening to his oddly voiced characters in his own audio narrative, I'd wonder whether he was cackling with mirth that he'd found another gullible reader with whom to play. He makes wild inferences forcing you to create connections that just aren't there. He about-faces at oblique angles just as you're starting to feel comfortable with the flow of things. He lies to you repeatedly without remorse. He is just bizarre. If possible I would send Liir a bouquet of daisies upon which he could pluck as he debated - I love Candle! I love her not! I love Candle! Golly, I just don't know! - I hate you Liir! I need no flowers to help me decide. I was left speechless when I realized I was reading Giovanni's Room: the Twist of Oz. It was like a tornado had dropped a house of homoeroticism on my head! "I'm not going to sleep to let you stab me in the back!" "The milk that only boys make!" Clearly, not in Kansas anymore. I am angry at Gregory Maguire. He tricked us with an ingenious concept - revising classic tales from the villains point of view! I even wrote a paper about it in college. What a humanitarian genius! (Maguire, not me.) And yet his development of this concept in Son of a Witch leaves me simmering with contempt at his inhumane fumblings. Gregory, I wish you played the muse and not the creator. The premises of your stories are so familiar that I cannot help but plod my way through to see if you can delight me with further insight into classic tales. However, you manage to use the third person narrative as a weapon. Ultimately, you only describe Liir's viewpoint and yet you do not give me any insight in the madness behind the man. I learn what Liir is thinking but never why. Some might argue that this is because Liir himself does not know - but then why lock me into complete ignorance while following characters that are even more ignorant. What's the point? Maguire's greatest talent is using culinary metaphors and terminology to describe the landscape - which he does ad nauseum. In a warm roasted chestnut shell, other than incite my ire to snap and crackle like winter's first batch of fire-cooked popcorn, this book made me hungry for things that haven't been deemed edible since the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, I don't plan on reordering this meal and I certainly will not try the dessert.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    Jeez, and I thought Wicked was bad. Wicked mostly stole freely from Baum's universe in a way that lacked both respect and imagination, and still managed to be little more than a trite exercise in politically correct stupidity. Give this man the chance to write a plot of his own, and the results are twice as insufferably vain and, well, lacking in actual content. Despite Maguire's extremely poor writing style, Wicked could at least prop itself up on the familiarity of Baum's characters, but Jeez, and I thought Wicked was bad. Wicked mostly stole freely from Baum's universe in a way that lacked both respect and imagination, and still managed to be little more than a trite exercise in politically correct stupidity. Give this man the chance to write a plot of his own, and the results are twice as insufferably vain and, well, lacking in actual content. Despite Maguire's extremely poor writing style, Wicked could at least prop itself up on the familiarity of Baum's characters, but now that we're entirely in original territory it falls flat on its face and stays there. This book is boring , and I say that as a trained librarian. Despite being written by the author of the original book, it reads like bad Wicked fanfic, as mendaciously unimaginative as it is limited in its execution. I think Maguire may be the only modern author I've read so lacking in talent that he's able to somehow pull this off. This book was so bad I couldn't finish it, which is not something I say very often. I'm a bibliophile. My house has hundreds of books. However, after reading this one, I wouldn't rest until I'd convinced my wife to get rid of every Maguire book we owned. Not recommended except for total masochists or people who, well, prefer fanfic to actual books and aren't bothered by the sleaziness of this whole franchise where acknowledging the contributions of the original author is concerned.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Talk about a book that goes nowhere! I read Son of a Witch because I had read Mirror Mirror and Wicked . I really liked Mirror Mirror --it was a very creative and interesting reimagining of Snow White. I enjoyed Wicked considerably less, but it held some interest until the end. It had a lot more bizarre elements (like the wicked witch of the east having no arms) and a rambling plot. But Elphaba (the wicked witch of the west) was an interesting character throughout the novel. Son of a Witch Talk about a book that goes nowhere! I read Son of a Witch because I had read Mirror Mirror and Wicked . I really liked Mirror Mirror --it was a very creative and interesting reimagining of Snow White. I enjoyed Wicked considerably less, but it held some interest until the end. It had a lot more bizarre elements (like the wicked witch of the east having no arms) and a rambling plot. But Elphaba (the wicked witch of the west) was an interesting character throughout the novel. Son of a Witch however, has absolutely no saving grace. The main character, Liir, who may or may not be, but let's face it really is Elphaba's son, is two dimensional and bounces around from random event to random event and random choice to random choice. He starts out on a quest and then abandons it. He heads down one path after the other without ever really having a clear reason for what he's doing or any true character development. Frankly, the book is boring, the main character unengaging, and the plot jumpy and unnecessarily gory. If you want to read Maguire, pick up Mirror Mirror instead. Son of a Witch is a waste of time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    flajol

    I really enjoyed Son of a Witch, despite the feeling that it’s just an interlude in a larger story. With Wicked, I had lots of preconceptions about the characters, and whilst I liked the slant on them that the book provided, I suppose it did get in the way a bit. With Son of a Witch, I didn’t have those same obstacles to get past. I enjoyed finding out more about Liir. I felt he was shabbily treated in Wicked, so it was interesting to follow his development here. I did want to shout at him a few I really enjoyed Son of a Witch, despite the feeling that it’s just an interlude in a larger story. With Wicked, I had lots of preconceptions about the characters, and whilst I liked the slant on them that the book provided, I suppose it did get in the way a bit. With Son of a Witch, I didn’t have those same obstacles to get past. I enjoyed finding out more about Liir. I felt he was shabbily treated in Wicked, so it was interesting to follow his development here. I did want to shout at him a few times! There are a lot of loose threads left at the end, so I suspect (hope!) there’s another book in the works. It reminded me of those M. Night Shyamalan films where you just get to see one act in a much larger story. They’re satisfying in their own way, but leave you hungry for more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    K.

    2.5 stars. Probably the best way to describe this book is disjointed. The pacing is pretty terrible, it's hard to get to know the characters because the story's not told in chronological order, the ending was an anticlimax, and so much of it was just Liir trekking all over freaking Oz that it reached the point where I just didn't give a crap any more. Basically, this was 500 pages of a just-okay story, and I'm really not entirely sure why I bothered to finish it because I was ambivalent towards 2.5 stars. Probably the best way to describe this book is disjointed. The pacing is pretty terrible, it's hard to get to know the characters because the story's not told in chronological order, the ending was an anticlimax, and so much of it was just Liir trekking all over freaking Oz that it reached the point where I just didn't give a crap any more. Basically, this was 500 pages of a just-okay story, and I'm really not entirely sure why I bothered to finish it because I was ambivalent towards it for at least 75% of the book...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I love the Oz universe, but I don't really like Maguire's style. But for some reason I've read this damn book 2 times. I love the Oz universe, but I don't really like Maguire's style. But for some reason I've read this damn book 2 times.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I loved it!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Airiz

    This sequel to the book Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West follows the adventures of Elphaba’s (implied) son, Liir. The story starts with the discovery of Liir’s body—badly injured, but not dead and with his face still intact, unlike the recent “victims” of a mysterious barbarian crime. From there, the story progressed in a series of alternating present scenes and flashbacks, telling us of Liir’s adventure and his struggle to find his (perhaps) half-sister Nor and his sen This sequel to the book Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West follows the adventures of Elphaba’s (implied) son, Liir. The story starts with the discovery of Liir’s body—badly injured, but not dead and with his face still intact, unlike the recent “victims” of a mysterious barbarian crime. From there, the story progressed in a series of alternating present scenes and flashbacks, telling us of Liir’s adventure and his struggle to find his (perhaps) half-sister Nor and his sense of purpose and self-identity. I’ve always loved how encyclopedic Gregory Maguire made Baum’s Land of Oz, especially in Wicked. The politics and religion he created are intricately woven, and I admire how he created the characters with intelligence. Liir is not your ordinary protagonist: he is filled with doubts, and most of the time he is confused by his emotions, primarily the effect of Elphaba’s death on him. The poor soul-searching boy tries to find sense in his life by seeking the company of other people—quite the opposite of Elphaba, who is content in being alone. Aside from search for self-identity, it as well tackles the issue: if you’re a child of a powerful figure, does it necessarily mean you can equal what your parent can do? Liir often thinks of what Elphaba—if she really is his mother—will do if she is in his shoes. Most of the time his knees will wobble, clobbered by self-doubt, but there are moments where he will stand up to leave a mark of his own. This is not your average bildungsroman. There are certain parts, though, where the prose becomes too embellished and superfluous. I think Maguire is a little pressured by the positive reviews about how greatly he (re)crafted the Land of Oz in Wicked that he worked so much to ‘amaze’ the readers with this next installment. This intention didn’t really fail, but some elements are being affected. The plotline itself twists from one path to another and another and another, until the reader is lost and will be sent asking: where the hell is this heading? The ending didn’t quite satisfy me, but maybe that’s why there’s a third book. ;D The best thing about Son of a Witch, I think, is that Maguire is able to show the readers how a fairytale can be as dark and as real as the happenings in real life. The politics, religion, personal issues, even sexuality, they’re all tackled very well. I will certainly watch out for the next book A Lion Among Men. *is just waiting for the paperback issue*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fizzgig76

    Liir sets out on his own after the fall of the Witch to find his possible half-sister Nod and find that Oz is in political change with the departure of the Wizard. Son of a Witch isn't great book (I would consider Wicked a great book), but it isn't bad. The problem with Son of a Witch is that it feels like filler to a bigger story. It does touch upon some of the questions left over from Wicked (despite now being a "series", I don't think Wicked was intended to be anything but a stand alone novel Liir sets out on his own after the fall of the Witch to find his possible half-sister Nod and find that Oz is in political change with the departure of the Wizard. Son of a Witch isn't great book (I would consider Wicked a great book), but it isn't bad. The problem with Son of a Witch is that it feels like filler to a bigger story. It does touch upon some of the questions left over from Wicked (despite now being a "series", I don't think Wicked was intended to be anything but a stand alone novel), and it develops the character of Liir. Unfortunately, it seems to just get going when Maguire ends it. This seems like Maguire intended to contiinue the series (as he has), but that isn't necessarily fair for the readers. It would have been nice if it had been wrapped up a little better.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cielo

    I really liked wicked, but for some reason I didn't like son of a witch all that much. Liir is pretty much the complete opposite of what elphaba was, at least in the beginning of the book. He's religious, timid, signs up for the military, and although it's pretty clear he's doing this to try to figure out who he is,, I didn't like him all that much. A few questions are answered at the end of the book, but throughout the book you had so many more questions that it hardly mattered. Kind of I disap I really liked wicked, but for some reason I didn't like son of a witch all that much. Liir is pretty much the complete opposite of what elphaba was, at least in the beginning of the book. He's religious, timid, signs up for the military, and although it's pretty clear he's doing this to try to figure out who he is,, I didn't like him all that much. A few questions are answered at the end of the book, but throughout the book you had so many more questions that it hardly mattered. Kind of I disappointed considering what a great book wicked was.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Greensmith

    "At least i'm talking to myself. Instead of giving myself the cold shoulder” This was a great follow up to Wicked, I have always felt this and Wicked to be two halves of the same story. I was always intrigue by Liir in Wicked and am so glad his story got to continue, as tragic as it was, and his presence was carried on through the following books. I felt that reading this it didn't paint the pictures in my head that the Book #1 did, it was a bit jumbled but none the less I really enjoyed it a "At least i'm talking to myself. Instead of giving myself the cold shoulder” This was a great follow up to Wicked, I have always felt this and Wicked to be two halves of the same story. I was always intrigue by Liir in Wicked and am so glad his story got to continue, as tragic as it was, and his presence was carried on through the following books. I felt that reading this it didn't paint the pictures in my head that the Book #1 did, it was a bit jumbled but none the less I really enjoyed it and it will always be a book I revisit...4 1/2 🌟

  20. 4 out of 5

    Baal Of

    I can usually power my way through any book, especially fiction, but as much as it galls me to do so, I'm giving up on this fucker right here. I started this book 10 days ago, and I'm only 120 pages in, which is an indication of how little I'm enjoying it. in fact, the further I got in, the more I dreaded picking it up, and the more I wished I was reading something else. Absolutely fucking anything else. Liir is one of the least interesting main characters ever. I don't hate this character, and I can usually power my way through any book, especially fiction, but as much as it galls me to do so, I'm giving up on this fucker right here. I started this book 10 days ago, and I'm only 120 pages in, which is an indication of how little I'm enjoying it. in fact, the further I got in, the more I dreaded picking it up, and the more I wished I was reading something else. Absolutely fucking anything else. Liir is one of the least interesting main characters ever. I don't hate this character, and I'm not just neutral towards him, it's more like I have an actively hostile ambivalence. Whatever it was about the other characters I liked in Wicked seems to be entirely absent here. Add to that the utterly horrible pacing and a snooze-fest of a plot line, and well, I'm out. Fuck this dull, formless, grey goo abomination.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yael

    In the years after she attended school at Shiz Univesity, Elphaba Thropp, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West, whose tragic life and death were chronicled in Wicked, had a lover, Prince Fiyero of the Vinkus, the land lying west of the Emerald City. Fiyero was abducted and murdered by Gale Force officers, shock troops of the Wizard of Oz. Pregnant with Fiyero's child, Elphaba fled for sanctuary to the Mauntery of St. Glinda just outside Shiz, where she fell into a months-long coma. Upon her recov In the years after she attended school at Shiz Univesity, Elphaba Thropp, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West, whose tragic life and death were chronicled in Wicked, had a lover, Prince Fiyero of the Vinkus, the land lying west of the Emerald City. Fiyero was abducted and murdered by Gale Force officers, shock troops of the Wizard of Oz. Pregnant with Fiyero's child, Elphaba fled for sanctuary to the Mauntery of St. Glinda just outside Shiz, where she fell into a months-long coma. Upon her recovery, she found that her child had been born; she took vows as a maunt, remaining at the mauntery for several years after that before leaving with a strange young boy for the castle of Kiamo Ko, whose lord had been Fiyero, occupied now by his wife and children and their retainers. Son of a Witch continues the story begun with Wicked, after the fall of the WOO (Wizard of Oz) and Elphaba's death. It follows the life of Elphaba's son, Liir. Like Wicked, Son of a Witch is not your grandparents' or great-grandparents' Oz, presenting a far darker and more mysterious side of Oz than we ever knew as children. The novel opens with the discovery of the body of a young man, badly bruised and near death, by the side of a road in the Vinkus. The Vinkus has lately become dangerous due to "scrapings", mysterious killings that involve the 'scalping' of the face, but the man's face has not been scraped. The woman who discovers him brings him to the Cloister of Saint Glinda in the Shale Shallows. 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. In the first two sections of the novel ("Under the Jackal Moon" and "The Service") the narrative shifts between the time when Liir left Kiamo Ko after the death of Elphaba to the time when Liir and a young maunt named Candle the Cloister. The second two sections ("The Emperor Apostle" and "No Place Like It") tell the story chronologically from Candle and Liir's arrival at Apple Press Farm to the end. An explanation for this narrative structure in the first part of the book is provided by references that Candle, in playing the domingon while Liir is in his coma-like state, is "guiding" him through his recollection of his past, and to the numerous and complex references in the novel to connections between past and present in the lives of individuals. After his mother's death, Liir had accompanied Dorothy Gale, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and Toto back to the Emerald City. While traveling, they meet Princess Nastoya, the leader of the Scrow, a Vinkus tribe. Nastoya is an Elephant who, because of the Wizard's pogrom against Animals, availed herself of a witch's charm that enabled her to transform into a human. She is slowly dying, and she asks Liir to find a way to enable her return to Elephant form before she dies. In return, she promises that she will try to learn about the fate of Nor, Fiyero's daughter, who, with her family, was taken by the Wizard's forces. When they reach the Emerald City, the others go off to receive what they were promised by the Wizard, leaving Liir alone. Liir becomes convinced that Nor is in Southstairs, a subterranean city that operates as a maximum-security prison, and seeks the aid of Glinda, appointed acting ruler of Oz after the Wizard's departure. She arranges a meeting between Liir and Shell, Elphaba's younger brother. Shell, who undertakes 'missions of mercy' in Southstairs ('comforting' female prisoners by injecting them with extract of poppy flower and taking sex as payment), brings him to the under-mayor, Chyde. When Chyde takes Liir to find Nor, they learn that Nor has recently escaped. Liir leaves Southstairs by flying out on Elphaba's broom. After living on the streets of the Emerald City for a time, Liir manages to enlist in the Home Guard. After a number of years in the service, his and three other companies (known as the "Seventh Spear"), led by Commander Cherrystone, are deployed to Qhoyre in Quadling Country, ostensibly to find those responsible for the kidnapping of the Viceroy and his wife and to maintain order. The peacefulness of the Quadlings and their lack of interest in the disappearance of the Viceroy, however, prevent the Seventh Spear from making any headway. The authorities in Emerald City push the army to get results, and in desperation, Commander Cherrystone provokes the village of Bengda into refusing to pay an exorbitant fine and orders Liir to lead a secret operation to burn the village. In the operation, many of the villagers are burned to death or drowned. Liir, filled with horror over the incident, deserts. Liir's adventures and misadventures continue, including the siring of a child with the girl Candle while he was unconscious in the mauntery; learning that his scheming half-brother Shell has become Emperor of Oz; the establishment of a love relationship with another soldier, Trism; and the keeping of his promise to Nastoya, which releases her into her Elephant form so that she can die fulfilled. Everything and everyone that the WOO touched was damaged, corrupted, or destroyed, and that is as true of Liir as anyone or anything else. Son of a Witch is at times depressing, which is natural, because like its predecessor, Wicked, it is a dystopia. But as a story it is as enthralling as Wicked is, and well worth the effort to find and read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Zusin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Today I’m with Liir from Oz. He is from Kiamo Ko and is the son of Elphaba and Fiyero, may they rest in peace. Right now he’s on a journey to find his half-sister, Nor. Q: How did you feel when you found out that Elphaba was your mother? A: I was surprised when I first found out, but I wasn’t too shocked. The vision I saw in her room put all the pieces together and helped me understand who I was. Q: Are you surprised that Candle’s child is your child? A: I am. I don’t remember us ever having sex, b Today I’m with Liir from Oz. He is from Kiamo Ko and is the son of Elphaba and Fiyero, may they rest in peace. Right now he’s on a journey to find his half-sister, Nor. Q: How did you feel when you found out that Elphaba was your mother? A: I was surprised when I first found out, but I wasn’t too shocked. The vision I saw in her room put all the pieces together and helped me understand who I was. Q: Are you surprised that Candle’s child is your child? A: I am. I don’t remember us ever having sex, but I know now that her child is mine because she has traits from my family. Q: What was it like to see all those people in pain because of you setting fire to their town? A: It was terrible. Seeing those people have to fight for their children’s lives and their own was bad but they didn’t even do anything to deserve it. Q: Can you tell me about how Candle played the domingon and what that was like? A: It was so beautiful and unique. It was native to the Quadlings, but no one else I’ve met can play it as good as Candle. It even helped Nastoya turn back into an Elephant. Q: Why did you dislike Dorothy? A: I disliked her cause she acted dumb and left me in Oz when I wanted to go with her to her world. Q: How was traveling with Dorothy’s group as a whole? A: It was okay. I mainly kept to myself and I couldn’t stand Dorothy, but after they left I talked with the Scarecrow and he told me to leave the Emerald City. When I later saw him though I knew they did something to him. Q: Why was Shell in Southstairs, the prison under the Emerald City? A: He was there because he wanted to drug women and have sex with them. He also tried to lock me away there as others did with Nor. Q: How did you and Trism kill the dragons and who sent them out to harass people? A: We killed the dragons by giving them poison in their food. Shell was the one who had the dragons attack because he wanted the Yunamata and the Scrow to go to war because they thought the other group did it. Q: How did the Conference of the Birds turn out? A: I told them that I took care of the dragons and that they are safe again. We flew over the Emerald City and screamed: “Elphaba Lives!” which had been showing up around the city. Q: Thank you for coming. Lastly, how is the search for Nor going? A: Not too well. The last thing I found was the Elphaba Lives! graffiti she made, so at least I know that she is still alive.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Son of a Witch is the story of how Liir (the Witch’s son), lived his life after the Witch’s death in an Oz that is under new leadership now that the Wizard is gone. The story opens with Liir as an adult in a comatose state, and then flashes back to different points in his life. While a novice named Candle attempts to sing him back to life, we get to hear about his brief time with Dorothy, his quest to find his half sister Nor, and his experiences in the military, all the while wondering why he i Son of a Witch is the story of how Liir (the Witch’s son), lived his life after the Witch’s death in an Oz that is under new leadership now that the Wizard is gone. The story opens with Liir as an adult in a comatose state, and then flashes back to different points in his life. While a novice named Candle attempts to sing him back to life, we get to hear about his brief time with Dorothy, his quest to find his half sister Nor, and his experiences in the military, all the while wondering why he is seemingly in his death bed… I did like this book even though it seems most people hate it. I would give it a 3.5 rating. Other reviews I’ve read seem to compare it too much to Wicked. I think this is a mistake because this book is not a continuation of that story; it is Liir’s story. Wicked was the Witch’s story and we all know what happens to her at the end. When reading Son of a Witch you have to treat it separately. This book is written differently but I think that is on purpose to describe Liir’s personality, how he thinks, and the type of life he has led. As another reviewer put it, it did seem to be an “interlude in a bigger story.” After reading this I am curious to know what happens in Out of Oz. How will this bigger political story conclude? What will happen to Oz?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    I agree with some of the reviews that say the story was promising and had potential to go many places, and then fell flat. I realized that half way through the book, not a lot had happened, and I could tell that the pace wouldn't be picking up. After finishing the book, I realized that this book is merely the part 2 of the Wicked Trilogy- it was merely a segway to the next book. None of the mysteries were solved, though there were traces throughout the book that it would come much much later. Th I agree with some of the reviews that say the story was promising and had potential to go many places, and then fell flat. I realized that half way through the book, not a lot had happened, and I could tell that the pace wouldn't be picking up. After finishing the book, I realized that this book is merely the part 2 of the Wicked Trilogy- it was merely a segway to the next book. None of the mysteries were solved, though there were traces throughout the book that it would come much much later. The character wasn't particularly likable. It was hard to like or empathize with a character so simple and selfish. Eventually, he changed a little, but for the most part, Liir lacked any trace of personality either of his parents (?) had in the first book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book is about The Wicked Witch of the West's alleged son, Liir. Liir was a boring character, but if you were going to write a sequel to Wicked, I guess you had to start somewhere. I mildly enjoyed the book because it featured reprisals of such characters as Glinda, Princess Nastoya, Nanny, and others from Wicked, including Shell who was only talked about in Wicked. The story, however, was rambly and boring. I wouldn't have gone on reading it if I didn't simply want to know where Gregory Mag This book is about The Wicked Witch of the West's alleged son, Liir. Liir was a boring character, but if you were going to write a sequel to Wicked, I guess you had to start somewhere. I mildly enjoyed the book because it featured reprisals of such characters as Glinda, Princess Nastoya, Nanny, and others from Wicked, including Shell who was only talked about in Wicked. The story, however, was rambly and boring. I wouldn't have gone on reading it if I didn't simply want to know where Gregory Maguire was going with it, and the homosexual relationship that developed certainly helped. Sorry if that's a spoiler.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I had to keep my Elphaba fix going. This is the second book of the Wicked series and is centered around Liir, a character from Wicked. This still did not tie up any loose ends. The first book left a very frayed rope. I was already warned from a friend when I started Son of a Witch that I would still be left with quite a few questions and very few answers which, of course, means that I have to move on to book 3. The book was an easy read and I read it quickly. New characters are introduced and ther I had to keep my Elphaba fix going. This is the second book of the Wicked series and is centered around Liir, a character from Wicked. This still did not tie up any loose ends. The first book left a very frayed rope. I was already warned from a friend when I started Son of a Witch that I would still be left with quite a few questions and very few answers which, of course, means that I have to move on to book 3. The book was an easy read and I read it quickly. New characters are introduced and there are a few familiar faces. I didn't feel the intensity of Wicked in this sequel but I was happy to be going back to Oz. (I never thought I'd say that.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Well written, a solid sequal, but for me a bit of a disappointment. Liir, the "son of a witch" is carrying on after Fabala's death and quite frankly, I expected more of him. The Green Witch remained magical despite Maguire's literary attempts to humanize her and the World of Oz. Or rather, I should say, his attempts to display Oz for a world beyond the everyday transactions of school, politics and relationships. Magic was uncommon but practiced, and in Fabala's case it was inherent. I guess I ho Well written, a solid sequal, but for me a bit of a disappointment. Liir, the "son of a witch" is carrying on after Fabala's death and quite frankly, I expected more of him. The Green Witch remained magical despite Maguire's literary attempts to humanize her and the World of Oz. Or rather, I should say, his attempts to display Oz for a world beyond the everyday transactions of school, politics and relationships. Magic was uncommon but practiced, and in Fabala's case it was inherent. I guess I hoped that Liir would have inherited some more of her fire...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    Me: I wish this book had never come to me. I wish I had never learned to read. Gandalf: So do all who have tried to read it. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the literacy that is given to us. There are other authors at work in this world Erik, besides the will of Gregory Maguire. Barnes and Nobles was meant to stock this book. In which case, you were also meant to pick it up. And that is... well that's a discouraging thought I see now. Hmph, I'm bambooz Me: I wish this book had never come to me. I wish I had never learned to read. Gandalf: So do all who have tried to read it. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the literacy that is given to us. There are other authors at work in this world Erik, besides the will of Gregory Maguire. Barnes and Nobles was meant to stock this book. In which case, you were also meant to pick it up. And that is... well that's a discouraging thought I see now. Hmph, I'm bamboozled. Oh well.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I most appreciate the invention of characters and lands that Maguire brings to his Wicked Series. That was the thing I enjoyed most about this book. This book, the second in the series, had a lot of story lines built up and while the author did resolve them, there wasn't much of a payoff. I'm hoping that the next book in the series will answer some questions and give some insight into "what was it all for"? I most appreciate the invention of characters and lands that Maguire brings to his Wicked Series. That was the thing I enjoyed most about this book. This book, the second in the series, had a lot of story lines built up and while the author did resolve them, there wasn't much of a payoff. I'm hoping that the next book in the series will answer some questions and give some insight into "what was it all for"?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suzey Ingold

    DNF. I really did try because I actually felt for Liir but... As my mother says, life is too short to read 500 page books you're not interested by. DNF. I really did try because I actually felt for Liir but... As my mother says, life is too short to read 500 page books you're not interested by.

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