Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years #2)” as Want to Read:
Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years #2)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  46,731 ratings  ·  3,042 reviews
Back in the land of Oz, the adolescent boy Liir was last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Bruised, comatose, and left for dead, Liir is tended to at the Cloister of Saint Glinda by a 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? ...more
Hardcover, 399 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Headline Review (first published September 27th 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Son of a Witch, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Danii Goldstein
Jul 04, 2008 Danii Goldstein rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jason Koivu
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 ( 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
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
Karen Germain
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
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
"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
Shelly Rae Rich
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
Aug 07, 2008 Becky rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Messick-Milone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
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
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
Jun 07, 2007 Nadine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Jun 27, 2007 Andrew rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Aug 01, 2007 Christy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Michelle E.
"I always thought a soul was private, but it appears it can be colonized against your will if you don't watch out."

Maguire possesses an inability to write kind characters. First it was everyone around Liir who was cruel. Now Liir has turned cruel as he matures. (view spoiler)
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
2 months and 15 days. That's how long it took me to get through Son of a Witch. Considering I average about a book every 2-3 days, that tells you something.

I adored Wicked and immediately bought this one to continue the story. It took me a while to figure out why it didn't click with me. The biggest reason is that Elphaba was the driving force of Wicked. I felt a kinship with her and cared what happened. Unfortunately, I really could care less about Liir. Here's the rub - I think the writer int
So ... we discussed the heck out of this one at book club, and I had a hard time writing my review. Plus, it was book #51 of the year for me, and I wrote this book review when I was reading #86. I really should have written this review earlier!

I do remember saying multiple times that I liked this one way better than Wicked, and I believe that can be owed to two main things:
1. a much better editor. This one didn't ramble in any way, shape or form like its predecessor
2. because we don't know anyth
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
Airiz C
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
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
[1.5 stars]

When I first began to read this book, I loved the style in which it was written - there were beautiful descriptions and many interesting little tidbits of color from my childhood memories of the Wizard of Oz. However, as I continued to read, it was like sensory overload, and I just became rather nauseated with all the description that the author seemed to want to force on the reader.

As for the actual storyline, there just came a point where I wanted to scream at the character,

Nicholas Karpuk
Jul 19, 2009 Nicholas Karpuk rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great Adventure 12 81 Aug 01, 2013 04:14PM  
  • Little Wizard Stories of Oz
  • The Forest House (Avalon, #2)
  • The Witch of Clatteringshaws (The Wolves Chronicles, #11)
  • The 10th Kingdom
  • Black Thorn, White Rose
  • Ravens of Avalon (Avalon #6)
  • Mrs. Beast: A Novel
  • Scarlet (King Raven, #2)
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After
  • Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2)
  • Seeing Redd (The Looking Glass Wars, #2)
  • Wicked: The Grimmerie
  • Without You
  • The Wolf and the Crown (Arthor, #3)
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)
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Mirror Mirror A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, #3) Out of Oz (The Wicked Years, #4)

Share This Book

“Happy endings are still endings.” 425 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.” 156 likes
More quotes…