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

(The Wicked Years #2)

by
3.47  ·  Rating details ·  56,302 ratings  ·  3,444 reviews
Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music.

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 power
...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published September 27th 2004)
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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)
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)

Community Reviews

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3.47  · 
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 ·  56,302 ratings  ·  3,444 reviews


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Danii Goldstein
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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 rated it it was ok
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
Becky
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Dayna
Aug 03, 2007 rated it did not like it
"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
Olivera
Aug 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
Shelly Rae Rich
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Julia
Jan 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Nathaniel
Apr 12, 2010 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
Sara
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Airiz C
Jan 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sarah
Feb 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fizzgig76
Mar 07, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Chris Greensmith
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"At least i'm talking to myself. Instead of giving myself the cold shoulder”
This was a great follow up to Wicked, I have always felt this and Wicked to be two halves of the same story. I was always intrigue by Liir in Wicked and am so glad his story got to continue, as tragic as it was, and his presence was carried on through the following books. I felt that reading this it didn't paint the pictures in my head that the Book #1 did, it was a bit jumbled but none the less I really enjoyed it and
...more
Cielo
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
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
K.
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
Baal Of
Oct 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: beets
I can usually power my way through any book, especially fiction, but as much as it galls me to do so, I'm giving up on this fucker right here. I started this book 10 days ago, and I'm only 120 pages in, which is an indication of how little I'm enjoying it. in fact, the further I got in, the more I dreaded picking it up, and the more I wished I was reading something else. Absolutely fucking anything else. Liir is one of the least interesting main characters ever. I don't hate this character, and ...more
Yael
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Moonkiszt
Mar 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheri
Jun 25, 2010 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 rated it liked it
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 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
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 rated it liked it
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
Geej0e
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine
The wall read:
ELPHIE LIVES
OZMA LIVES
THE WIZARD LIVES
and then
EVERYONE LIVES BUT US.


Reading this book and The Marvelous Land of Oz simultaneously was an interesting experience. Oh, there's little Tip and Mombi! Nice nod, Mr. Maguire. But this Oz? It's quite different from the one Mr. Baum imagined. Unlike the Scarecrow-run original, where the Army of Oz was a single soldier, the illegitimate, unrecognized son of Elphaba finds himself in an unstable nation where the Scarecrow is both a literal and
...more
Kelsie
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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6,078 followers
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

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)
“Happy endings are still endings.” 483 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.” 172 likes
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