Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

In this captivating New York Times bestseller, beloved author Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz and introduces us to Liir, an adolescent boy last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape—but what of her powers? 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?

Topics: Parody, Adventurous, Folk and Fairy Tales, Witches, Magic, Politics, Alternate Universe, Revisionist, 21st Century, and Tetralogy

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061752513
List price: $6.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Son of a Witch
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Second in Maguire's histories of the Thropps, the family of the Wicked Witch of the West, I found this in almost every way superior to the first, Wicked. The characters remain idiosyncratic but their growth and motivations were more satisfying to me. Not being tied by our familiarity to Baum's book or the 1939 movie musical, the plot is fully Maguire's and hung together as a fabric instead of just threads having to pass through specific events. The locations, history, culture, milieu and relationships in the story are no longer Baum's but Maguire owns them. We do not know them from The Wizard of Oz but from Wicked. Instead of being a collection of bones Maguire carries as the burden, they are the skeleton the story is able to flesh out and again animate.

I am reminded of Euripides and authors down to Eugene O'Neil and on. Their talent was not inventing novel stories but retelling familiar ones in their unique voices. This series has the same sense of inevitability: these characters with these flaws make only one ending possible. Even if they learn and change their sins set events into relentless motion. Justice demands punishment which, when it finally arrives, will be hugely out of proportionate. From the day Laius consults the oracle we know Oedipus' blinding is inevitable. In the same way we know from the first sentence Elphaba cannot escape her bucket of water.

I found the book is less cleverly written than the first although wordplay and a rich vocabulary still pulled me through to keep reading. Specifically, the prose is flecked with Ozicisms — words peculiar to the speech of those living in the Land of Oz — although there are also archaic or rarely words of perfectly good English as well. When an unfamiliar noun or adjective pops up the meaning was clear enough from context but I was never sure which language it was pulled from. Would I find it in a dictionary? Or would I need to call a reference librarian in the Emerald City to get the definition and derivation. In some cases it played thin and became an annoyance instead of a delight. I hope not to give too much away here: how many times can one read about black striped tsebras running on the plain before feeling like calling them zebra might have been alright?
Still, I have two volumes ahead of me. Having gone this far with the Thropps am I going to go on hundreds of pages further? You bet.

Just so you know, there are plenty of horrible tortures and deaths. While mostly in hints and metaphor, there is both hetero- and homosexuality so this isn't bedtime reading to share with young children. Honestly, the frank and graphic descriptions of politics make this an unsuitable fairy tale for small children! None of it approaches the way the these same scenes would be treated in movies so don't be scared off thinking you're steering clear of something lurid or voyeuristic.

And a final note: One theme in the book explores the way past, present, and future integrate but remain distinct divisions in our thinking about time, events and existence. Another, which I hope to see continuing in the series, is a conversation on the relationship between words and music and of their control of realities which exist independent of the words and songs. I expect more to come as volume one explored which is the reality: the thing or the words naming and describing it? Here we add music to the mix and I am anxious to see whether there is another ingredient tossed in or what other questions Maguire wants us to consider. (The richness of this discussion may be the source of my real irritation with names like "tsebra".)more
I really loved the story Wicked, so when the sequel came out I was very excited to read it. Sadly, it was very disappointing. I had to really push through this story and my mind kept wandering, making it really difficult to understand what was going on. I felt sorry for this lost and broken boy but it was irritating to ALWAYS feel sorry for this lost and broken boy. I just couldn't get myself to like Liir or much of anyone except maybe Nor. The only good part was the ending where we finally find out that Liir is the son of Elphaba. Other than that I felt like I wasted my time. = /more
Read all 61 reviews

Reviews

Second in Maguire's histories of the Thropps, the family of the Wicked Witch of the West, I found this in almost every way superior to the first, Wicked. The characters remain idiosyncratic but their growth and motivations were more satisfying to me. Not being tied by our familiarity to Baum's book or the 1939 movie musical, the plot is fully Maguire's and hung together as a fabric instead of just threads having to pass through specific events. The locations, history, culture, milieu and relationships in the story are no longer Baum's but Maguire owns them. We do not know them from The Wizard of Oz but from Wicked. Instead of being a collection of bones Maguire carries as the burden, they are the skeleton the story is able to flesh out and again animate.

I am reminded of Euripides and authors down to Eugene O'Neil and on. Their talent was not inventing novel stories but retelling familiar ones in their unique voices. This series has the same sense of inevitability: these characters with these flaws make only one ending possible. Even if they learn and change their sins set events into relentless motion. Justice demands punishment which, when it finally arrives, will be hugely out of proportionate. From the day Laius consults the oracle we know Oedipus' blinding is inevitable. In the same way we know from the first sentence Elphaba cannot escape her bucket of water.

I found the book is less cleverly written than the first although wordplay and a rich vocabulary still pulled me through to keep reading. Specifically, the prose is flecked with Ozicisms — words peculiar to the speech of those living in the Land of Oz — although there are also archaic or rarely words of perfectly good English as well. When an unfamiliar noun or adjective pops up the meaning was clear enough from context but I was never sure which language it was pulled from. Would I find it in a dictionary? Or would I need to call a reference librarian in the Emerald City to get the definition and derivation. In some cases it played thin and became an annoyance instead of a delight. I hope not to give too much away here: how many times can one read about black striped tsebras running on the plain before feeling like calling them zebra might have been alright?
Still, I have two volumes ahead of me. Having gone this far with the Thropps am I going to go on hundreds of pages further? You bet.

Just so you know, there are plenty of horrible tortures and deaths. While mostly in hints and metaphor, there is both hetero- and homosexuality so this isn't bedtime reading to share with young children. Honestly, the frank and graphic descriptions of politics make this an unsuitable fairy tale for small children! None of it approaches the way the these same scenes would be treated in movies so don't be scared off thinking you're steering clear of something lurid or voyeuristic.

And a final note: One theme in the book explores the way past, present, and future integrate but remain distinct divisions in our thinking about time, events and existence. Another, which I hope to see continuing in the series, is a conversation on the relationship between words and music and of their control of realities which exist independent of the words and songs. I expect more to come as volume one explored which is the reality: the thing or the words naming and describing it? Here we add music to the mix and I am anxious to see whether there is another ingredient tossed in or what other questions Maguire wants us to consider. (The richness of this discussion may be the source of my real irritation with names like "tsebra".)more
I really loved the story Wicked, so when the sequel came out I was very excited to read it. Sadly, it was very disappointing. I had to really push through this story and my mind kept wandering, making it really difficult to understand what was going on. I felt sorry for this lost and broken boy but it was irritating to ALWAYS feel sorry for this lost and broken boy. I just couldn't get myself to like Liir or much of anyone except maybe Nor. The only good part was the ending where we finally find out that Liir is the son of Elphaba. Other than that I felt like I wasted my time. = /more
A decade after the Wicked Witch dies, a young man is found barely alive in a gully. No one can figure out how he got there. He is taken to a mauntery and tended by Candle, silent but with a gift for music. She brings him back to life.The young man is Liir, he had been with the Witch when she died, he had been living with her for years. Believed to be her son but never proved. Through Liir’s memories we go back in time, to cover the years in between and how he came to be broken and comatose, tossed away like yesterday’s trash.Liir is looking for Nor, at the same time, due to the fact that many believe he is Elphaba’s son he is asked to help the oppressed. Liir does not have the confidence in himself that other’s do. Yet when he decides to do something, he sticks to it.This sequel introduces us to new characters while expanding on the old ones carried over. There are still questions, What happened to Dorothy?, The Tinman, Scarecrow and Lion. And what is going to happen to Oz with the land in turmoil and looking to boil over at any time?Gregory Maguire keeps the story going. I could only see one thing that differed from Wicked, so pretty good. The characters remained consistent to what we learned previously. This consistency lends credence to this account and makes it easy to pick up the story and keep going.more
Meh. The easiest way to retain a reader is to set your story in an already rich, beloved, and iconic world. Maguire's Wicked Years books are most interesting in that they re-imagine Oz from the perspective of an adult who understands politics. I enjoy going back to a world that I loved as child and being reminded that there must have been some nastiness going on below the surface, so I read this and Wicked. I think I'm done now.Plot-wise and character-wise Son of a Witch does absolutely nothing of real value. All the characters feel stock, even though only a small handfull appeared in L. Frank Baum's novels. The plot was meandering and largely pointless, each event acting to drive a dull protagonist with an overly fractured personality. It feels like Liir is the center of the universe, though the universe can't seem to flow around him in any one direction for long. The sequence in the Emerald City prison would have made a hell of a short story, but the rest is largely fluff. I get that teenagers feel buffeted about and without direction, but Maguire overdoes it by miles.more
Load more
scribd