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Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years, #2)
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Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years #2)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  52,706 Ratings  ·  3,328 Reviews
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 dang ...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by William Morrow (first published September 27th 2004)
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Tonya I think you would want to read them in order - there are a lot of twists and turns even when you read them in order, so I think it would be even more…moreI think you would want to read them in order - there are a lot of twists and turns even when you read them in order, so I think it would be even more confusing if you read them out of order.(less)
Jama You probably could read this novel as long as you're well-versed in the overall story of Baum's original Oz stories. However, you'd be missing out on…moreYou probably could read this novel as long as you're well-versed in the overall story of Baum's original Oz stories. However, you'd be missing out on the gem that is "Wicked", so you should read both anyway. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Danii Goldstein
Jul 04, 2008 Danii Goldstein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I've read a lot of reviews for this book and most people seemed to hate it. You will notice, however, that I gave this book five stars.

To those who hated it, I say this: I see what your problems are.

The story is badly paced (most of the 'action' happens in the last third), the reader spends most of the time being confused as to what's going on (while it is a third person narrative, it is limited third person), some of the characters seemed half-drawn, the narrative is very disconnected (occasion
...more
Marcie
Dec 16, 2007 Marcie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so satisfying. Liir, son of Elphaba, comes into his own and after 266 pages, he begins to do incredible things to help other people, lead, unite, take the helm of his mother’s legacy. And it’s so realistic because he does it while still in a state of confusion and self-doubt, obstacles he never really overcomes (neither did Elphaba really). I love how everyone says to him “if only Elphaba was here to see this…” The Bird Congress aka Witch Nation (charged by Liir to be the eyes of O ...more
Jason Koivu
Jul 02, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Wicked series books for the fact that apparently they are "NOTHING LIKE THE PLAY!" to the point that it angers fans of the stage version. If you have time, read some of the one-star reviews for the first book (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37...). It's hilarious how mad these people get. It's like they've been betrayed, tricked into reading this divergence from their beloved baby. Since the play is based on the book, shouldn't they be upset at the play for switching things up and ...more
Karen Germain
Jan 21, 2008 Karen Germain rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of terrible books, but this one possibly wins the distinction of being the worst book that I have ever read. It was awful.

An explanation....I liked Wicked and I have read all of Maguire's other books. Every time a new Maguire book came out, I read it and they seemed to progressively go downhill. I didn't expect Son of s Witch to be very good, but I wanted to give it a chance.

The only reason that this book was possibly written, is due to the success of the stage musical of Wicked
...more
Steve
Oct 17, 2007 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I made a mistake reading this book. I should have known from the ending of Wicked that it wouldn't get much better. But I held out hope. My hope was that "well, maybe the ending I didn't get in Wicked, I'll get here, and maybe that was the plan all along, to fully revise things in a sequel, as that would be more the author's OWN and he'd be less pigeon-holed."

Alas, that wasn't the case.

Again, 98% of this book is a great read. But the two main problems I had with the first book are the problems I
...more
Dayna
Aug 03, 2007 Dayna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Wicked" kind of annoyed me from time to time ... inspite of the fact that I loved reading Elphaba's story. If that book fell a little short ... then this book (the sequel) completely misses the mark. Maguire did okay when he was writing on the basis of someone else's work ... but here on his own he flounders. Whatever it was that did not sit well with me from "Wicked" is found tenfold in the pages of "Son of a Witch." At first I thought that it was just Maguire's take on bits of Baum's original ...more
Becky
Jul 21, 2008 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Oz completists only
As much as I liked Wicked, I had an inkling I was going to like Son of a Witch even better, especially given the beginning, with the spate of senseless "scrapings" and the discovery of the unconscious boy, who turns out to be Liir, the book's protagonist and the potential son of the Wicked Witch of the West.

The beginning was indeed good. Engaging. I especially enjoyed the brief time Liir spent with the Yellow Brick Road friends from The Wizard of Oz. I'm a huge WoO nut, but I didn't have any pro
...more
Shelly Rae Rich
Jul 23, 2007 Shelly Rae Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why this has an average of 3.32. It's a great entertaining and thought-provoking book. Maybe I'm prejudiced toward GM, but I loved it, and think it came to its inevitable conclusion. Can't wait for the next (which goes into Mother Yackle if anyone's following the series - he read a bit at last year's Grub Street conference).

I just looked at some of the other reviews and disagree on so many levels. The kinship of Elphaba and Liir is demonstrated quite well through his behavior and to
...more
flajol
I really enjoyed Son of a Witch, despite the feeling that it’s just an interlude in a larger story. With Wicked, I had lots of preconceptions about the characters, and whilst I liked the slant on them that the book provided, I suppose it did get in the way a bit. With Son of a Witch, I didn’t have those same obstacles to get past.

I enjoyed finding out more about Liir. I felt he was shabbily treated in Wicked, so it was interesting to follow his development here. I did want to shout at him a few
...more
Julia
Jan 21, 2010 Julia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathaniel
Apr 12, 2010 Nathaniel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jeez, and I thought Wicked was bad. Wicked mostly stole freely from Baum's universe in a way that lacked both respect and imagination, and still managed to be little more than a trite exercise in politically correct stupidity. Give this man the chance to write a plot of his own, and the results are twice as insufferably vain and, well, lacking in actual content. Despite Maguire's extremely poor writing style, Wicked could at least prop itself up on the familiarity of Baum's characters, but ...more
Sarah Messick-Milone
Feb 21, 2008 Sarah Messick-Milone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fizzgig76
Liir sets out on his own after the fall of the Witch to find his possible half-sister Nod and find that Oz is in political change with the departure of the Wizard. Son of a Witch isn't great book (I would consider Wicked a great book), but it isn't bad. The problem with Son of a Witch is that it feels like filler to a bigger story. It does touch upon some of the questions left over from Wicked (despite now being a "series", I don't think Wicked was intended to be anything but a stand alone novel ...more
Cielo
Mar 12, 2014 Cielo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked wicked, but for some reason I didn't like son of a witch all that much. Liir is pretty much the complete opposite of what elphaba was, at least in the beginning of the book. He's religious, timid, signs up for the military, and although it's pretty clear he's doing this to try to figure out who he is,, I didn't like him all that much. A few questions are answered at the end of the book, but throughout the book you had so many more questions that it hardly mattered. Kind of I disap ...more
Sara
Jan 04, 2009 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Oz universe, but I don't really like Maguire's style. But for some reason I've read this damn book 2 times.
Sheri
Jun 25, 2010 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own
Son of a Witch is the story of how Liir (the Witch’s son), lived his life after the Witch’s death in an Oz that is under new leadership now that the Wizard is gone. The story opens with Liir as an adult in a comatose state, and then flashes back to different points in his life. While a novice named Candle attempts to sing him back to life, we get to hear about his brief time with Dorothy, his quest to find his half sister Nor, and his experiences in the military, all the while wondering why he i ...more
Nadine
Jun 07, 2007 Nadine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wicked Fans.
I agree with some of the reviews that say the story was promising and had potential to go many places, and then fell flat. I realized that half way through the book, not a lot had happened, and I could tell that the pace wouldn't be picking up. After finishing the book, I realized that this book is merely the part 2 of the Wicked Trilogy- it was merely a segway to the next book. None of the mysteries were solved, though there were traces throughout the book that it would come much much later. Th ...more
Andrew
Jun 27, 2007 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who didn't think Wicked was a slow read and Liir was a boring character.
Shelves: fantasy
This book is about The Wicked Witch of the West's alleged son, Liir. Liir was a boring character, but if you were going to write a sequel to Wicked, I guess you had to start somewhere. I mildly enjoyed the book because it featured reprisals of such characters as Glinda, Princess Nastoya, Nanny, and others from Wicked, including Shell who was only talked about in Wicked. The story, however, was rambly and boring. I wouldn't have gone on reading it if I didn't simply want to know where Gregory Mag ...more
Azumi
Aug 08, 2015 Azumi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado mucho, Liir es uno de esos personajes que no se olvidan, aunque el final me hubiese gustado que fuera más cerrado. Eso sí Liir encuentra, justo en la última frase del libro, la respuesta a las dos preguntas que se hace a lo largo de toda la historia.

Wicked me lo leí hace unos 4 años y le puse en Goodreads 3 estrellas, me estoy replanteándo releerlo ya que seguro que la valoración sería más elevada.

Me sabe mal ya que los otros dos libros de la serie que faltan, creo que no han llega
...more
Sara
I had to keep my Elphaba fix going. This is the second book of the Wicked series and is centered around Liir, a character from Wicked.

This still did not tie up any loose ends. The first book left a very frayed rope. I was already warned from a friend when I started Son of a Witch that I would still be left with quite a few questions and very few answers which, of course, means that I have to move on to book 3.

The book was an easy read and I read it quickly. New characters are introduced and ther
...more
Christy
Aug 01, 2007 Christy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of Wicked
Well written, a solid sequal, but for me a bit of a disappointment. Liir, the "son of a witch" is carrying on after Fabala's death and quite frankly, I expected more of him. The Green Witch remained magical despite Maguire's literary attempts to humanize her and the World of Oz. Or rather, I should say, his attempts to display Oz for a world beyond the everyday transactions of school, politics and relationships. Magic was uncommon but practiced, and in Fabala's case it was inherent. I guess I ho ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
2.5 stars.

Probably the best way to describe this book is disjointed. The pacing is pretty terrible, it's hard to get to know the characters because the story's not told in chronological order, the ending was an anticlimax, and so much of it was just Liir trekking all over freaking Oz that it reached the point where I just didn't give a crap any more.

Basically, this was 500 pages of a just-okay story, and I'm really not entirely sure why I bothered to finish it because I was ambivalent towards
...more
Liv (Оља)
I remember reading this book when I was 11 and being highly disturbed by it. It's one of the books I remember quite vividly even now and it kinda stuck with me my whole life, but in a very bad way. I'm still debating whether I should try reading the whole series now that I'm mature enough for it (and have obviously read my fair share of creepy and disgusting books). The fact that this is a second book in a series where I had not even known the first book existed in the time reading it might also ...more
Geej0e
May 18, 2010 Geej0e rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yael
Feb 12, 2009 Yael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the years after she attended school at Shiz Univesity, Elphaba Thropp, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West, whose tragic life and death were chronicled in Wicked, had a lover, Prince Fiyero of the Vinkus, the land lying west of the Emerald City. Fiyero was abducted and murdered by Gale Force officers, shock troops of the Wizard of Oz. Pregnant with Fiyero's child, Elphaba fled for sanctuary to the Mauntery of St. Glinda just outside Shiz, where she fell into a months-long coma. Upon her recov ...more
Merry
Apr 26, 2017 Merry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Needed some editing at times as some of the set up of the main character and premise was rather laboured - and just a bit boring! - but improved dramatically in the last third.
Charles
Stuff I Read - Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire Review

So I had enjoyed Wicked a good deal, but didn't really enjoy the ending of it. The parts with Dorothy seemed a little shoehorned in, perhaps because I got to see so little of her before she showed up, perhaps because it was a little jarring to be brought back to the source material when the setting had done such an amazing job of being different, of showing a different Oz, and the Dorothy scenes seemed too much like the movie/book. I still m
...more
Airiz C
Jan 21, 2011 Airiz C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This sequel to the book Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West follows the adventures of Elphaba’s (implied) son, Liir. The story starts with the discovery of Liir’s body—badly injured, but not dead and with his face still intact, unlike the recent “victims” of a mysterious barbarian crime. From there, the story progressed in a series of alternating present scenes and flashbacks, telling us of Liir’s adventure and his struggle to find his (perhaps) half-sister Nor and his sen ...more
Matt Mangham
I really wanted to like this novel. I loved Oz as a child, am always glad to see someone take it up as a subject, and a prequel, Wicked, was pretty good. This one, though, is terrible.[return][return]Liir, the main character, is so thinly drawn he seems almost disembodied, spending most of his time alone wondering who he is and what his place in the world might be. Frankly, it was almost impossible to care, particularly given irritating authorial idiosyncrasies such as Liir's incessant internal ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Jun 29, 2009 Nicholas Karpuk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: OZ Nerds, Wicked fans
The advertising for "Son of a Witch" confuses me. At the bottom it says, "From the author of 'A Lion Among Men'." Yes, the book after it. The back also has excerpts from both "Wicked" and "A Lion Among Men". Let me just clarify for those who haven't read any of these that it's not a series you can just pick up anywhere and be cool with it.

"Wicked" felt kind of unsatisfying, but as a precursor to this book it actually gains a lot of depth. Knowing so much about the protagonist Liir's mother help
...more
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Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children' ...more
More about Gregory Maguire...

Other Books in the Series

The Wicked Years (4 books)
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1)
  • A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, #3)
  • Out of Oz (The Wicked Years, #4)

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“Happy endings are still endings.” 480 likes
“Not everyone is born a witch or a saint. Not everyone is born talented, or crooked, or blessed; some are born definite in no particular at all. We are a fountain of shimmering contradictions, most of us. Beautiful in the concept, if we're lucky, but frequently tedious or regrettable as we flesh ourselves out.” 167 likes
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