Book 2 in The Wicked Years series
Unabridged, 14 hr. 16 min.
Genre: Fantasy, Audiobook
Source: Personal Collection
"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 to 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, las 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?"
I would definitely recommend reading Wicked before picking up this one otherwise you will be completely lost as to who the characters are and what is going on in the Land of Oz. Like Wicked, a lot of what happens in the story is based on the political upheaval in Oz. I had read Wicked a couple of years ago, and I still had some trouble following the politics of the land. In this book, Dorothy and her 3 friends (4 if you count Toto) have more of a role. Other than them, Liir and Glinda, you really won’t recognize any of the characters from the traditional story of Oz. This was a little bit of a problem for me as a reader. Unlike Wicked, I couldn’t connect with the characters – even though they we mentioned in passing or were related to the traditional characters, I just didn’t feel for them as much.
I found the book hard to get into at the beginning, but by the end I was rooting for Liir on his quest and hoping he would find what he was looking for. I want to read the third book in the Wicked series, A Lion Among Men, focusing on the life of the Cowardly Lion, but I think I will take some time before I jump into that one.
The narrator of this audio book was the author, Gregory Maguire, and I’m not sure that I liked him as the narrator. He gave individual voices to all of the characters (and even did a little singing too!) but somehow it just didn’t keep me interested. I think that my opinion of the book might have been changed if I had read the book or if it had a different narrator. Sometimes the author is just not the best choice.
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