Becky's Reviews > Son of a Witch

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
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Aug 07, 08

Recommended for: Oz completists only
Read in August, 2008

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 problem whatsoever with the irreverent, perhaps more realistic way the classic characters were handled.

When the silent maunt known as Candle is assigned to take care of Liir, that stuff was pretty good too -- the unconscious Liir's flashbacks were interesting and pulled the plot along nicely. I was totally into it.

Around three-quarters of the way into the book, though I started to get annoyed. It didn't look like Liir was going to accomplish anything -- he wasn't going to achieve a gratifying ending to any of his quests and charges, he wasn't going to settle into a romantic relationship, he wasn't going to figure himself out. The book makes Liir out to be a sort of malcontent, but I don't know. He's pretty mild. The only thing that really comes across is the character's confusion as to who he is and what he stands for. And I didn't feel he ever came to any conclusions about that. It was frustrating to get three-quarters into the book and still feel that the protagonist had no sense of purpose.

Perhaps his rudderlessness is the point. I could see how that might be the case. But I don't feel that it made for satisfying reading. I'll know I'll reread Wicked again and again, but I don't think Son of a Witch was worth finishing the first time through.
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M.A. You described my own thoughts about this book!


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