Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire

Cover ImageFinished audio 8-4-11, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2005

Unabridged audio read by the author.  14 hours.

Book  2 of the Oz series.

I loved Wicked, the first book about Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.  I was less in love with the musical, but it was still good.  The book had it all.  Here is a link to the review I wrote for another book review site before I started my blog.  I thought the book stood on its own brilliantly and was not all that excited to read a sequel, Elphaba was dead, the story was told.

Liir might be Elphaba’s son, no one is sure.  He was raised by her but without maternal actions he was left to feel more like ward than a son.  Liir was just a boy when Elphaba died and the story begins when he is found left for dead on the side of the road.  He is nursed back to health at the cloister by the quadling girl, Candle.  In alternating chapters we read about his recovery and what he did on the ten years between Elphaba’s death and his being found.

I felt a detachment from Liir that I didn’t feel to Elphaba, so the story, while good, did not touch me in the same way.  I loved revisiting Oz and the Scarecrow and Glinda, the good witch.  Maguire is a genius at creating an alternate reality.  You will never watch the movie The Wizard of Oz in quite the same away again.  This Oz has a dark underbelly full of political intrigue, revolution, animal rights, and an army of dragons trained to kill.

With all of the spectacle that is Oz this is still Liir’s story.  His quest to find himself and discover his purpose.  The journey was full of love, pitfalls, rediscovery, and disillusionment.

I would recommend this only for those who loved Wicked.

Maguire did a great job narrating his own novel, but I wonder if the distance that I felt from Liir was because that is how he chose to read him.  It’s hard to say.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Shanyn, JoJo, Laura, Donna, and Lisa-Marie.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Son of a Witch is REALLY good! I think you’d really enjoy it!”  Lisa-Marie

“Absolutely one of the books everyone should read. Well actually they should read all 3 in the series – Wicked, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men. There is so much more to these books than them being loosely based odd the Wizard of Oz.”  Donna

“I have that in my stack and would like to know what someone else thinks of it.”  Shanyn

Take a guess at this week’s Who’s Older Quiz.  For every participant the winner will receive $1 B&N gift card.

13 thoughts on “Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire

  1. Heather says:

    I’ve heard such mixed reviews for this series. People seem to either love or hate it. But I trust your judgment so I need to get going on Wicked! Great review!

  2. Veens says:

    I never read anything by this author. I must try Wicked in the near future. I love the picture on the right side, you are all looking great 🙂

  3. Amused says:

    I read Wicked back in college for a bookclub and had a hard time with it so I’ll probably have to pass on this one. I did love the play though. It was pure fun.

  4. Bonnie says:

    I have Wicked on my TBR shelf and haven’t read it yet. I read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsiste by Maguire with my book club and liked it a lot. It surprised me as I didn’t expect to like it and was dreading reading it. So, I do need to read Wicked next since I liked Stepsister. I’ll keep this in mind if I like Wicked.

  5. julie says:

    I read the book and while I liked it, I did think parts were extremely disturbing. I much preferred the musical because I believe it focused on the better part of book for me; the friendship between Glenda and Elphaba. I also wouldn’t have a problem taking a young kid to the musical whereas that book is definitely for an adult. 🙂

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