Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Son of a Witch is the second book in Gregory Maguire's "Wicked" series....I finished Wicked about a year ago, downloaded Son of a Witch for someone else but only just got around to listening to it myself en-route to Syracuse (and back).

The Audible Publisher's Summary:
     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.

I think the most interesting part of this audiobook was the narration by the author himself - I'm always appreciative to hear the characters voiced as the author imagines them to be. Gregory Maguire has proven himself a gifted narrator in addition to his gift of fiction.

While I found Son of a Witch to be a bit less engaging than Wicked, the story of Liir was interesting, dynamic and surprising - picking up upon Elphaba's death, Dorothy's return to Oz - Liir with her. Liir's journey from orphan to adult - and the continued corruption of the Emerald City. I found it to be a pleasant listen for any fan of the Wicked Musical - and will eventually get back around to book three: "A Lion Among Men".

Stick around to listen to the interview with the author - when he describes why he decided to write a sequel to Wicked - the question of Noor. Whatever happened to Noor? This interview is also available (for free) from Audible.

Son of a Witch was written and narrated by Gregory Maguire, published by Harper Audio with a release date of September 21, 2005.  Son of a Witch has a runtime of 14 hours 16 minutes.

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