Review: Son Of A Witch — Gregory Maguire

Read: 29
To Go: 71

Book List
21. Water For Elephants — Sara Gruen
22. The Borrowers — Mary Norton
23. Very Valentine — Adriana Trigiani
24. Eat, Pray, Love — Elizabeth Gilbert
25. Something Borrowed — Emily Giffin
26. Divine Evil — Nora Roberts
27. It’s Kind of A Funny Story — Ned Vizzini
28. Red Riding Hood — Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
29. Son Of A Witch — Gregory Maguire

Son Of A Witch, Gregory Maguire’s sequel to Wicked (his novel based on the characters in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), picks up right where Wicked left off, with the aftermath of the Wicked Witch of the West’s death. Elphaba’s maybe-son, Liir, finds himself alone in Kiamo Ko, with only the company of Nanny, an aging caretaker with limited memory, and Chistery and the rest of the flying monkeys. Instead of staying put, he casts his lot in with Dorothy and follows her to the Emerald City. From there he faces the struggle of growing up a little too fast, searching for an old friend, coming to grips with Elphaba’s death, and answering the question of his parentage.

It was nice to get back into Maguire’s writing again; I read Wicked about two years ago and was immediately smitten with the prose, the characters, and just the story in general. And with Son Of A Witch, it wasn’t long before I was immersed in the life of Liir, a character with whom I was already familiar, and the other characters, both old and new.

While I do harbour a not-so-secret love for Maguire’s writing, I’ve often found that anything he writes is, for me, a bit of a tough read — and this book was no exception. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (in fact, it’s refreshing to feel challenged by a book), but I guess it serves as a warning: if you plan to read any of Gregory Maguire’s work, prepare to have to read a level or two above what you’re normally used to.

At any rate, Son Of A Witch was a great book and I’d definitely recommend it. The characters, Liir especially, are thoroughly fleshed out, dynamic, and interesting, and the plot moves like a train (okay, well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly isn’t draggy). Just read Wicked prior to cracking the spine on this one, or else you’ll be totally lost.

Next book: The Lincoln Lawyer — Michael Connelly

– Kelsey

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