Sunday, March 03, 2013

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

This is the sequel to Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I adored Wicked, but it was such a tragedy I swore not to ever re-read it. When Son came out I picked it up with some trepidation, but a series of mediocre reviews and the advent of more good books by other folks pushed it further and further back into the to-be-read shelf. Eventually it was completely buried.

Recently the fourth and final volume of what's now called The Wicked Years has been published, so when stumbling across Son it was clear the time to read it had come. Verdict: not as good as Wicked, not as bad as I'd feared. It rambles, but so did Wicked. The difference is that Wicked was intensely involving both for the story and how it mirrored our contemporary world, and thus those rambles mattered. Son lacks the intensity of the events and the tragic fascination you develop for the main character, and thus is merely acceptable. If it were the first novel of the series rather than the second, I'd not pursue them any further. But since Wicked was so good and I found both of the other two books in remaindered hardback, I'll be diving into A Lion Among Men and Out of Oz shortly.

Update: I've just finished reading A Lion Among Men, and it's caused me to revise my opinion somewhat. A review of Lion will be up soon, I'll put a link here once it has jelled.

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