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A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, #3)
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A Lion Among Men

(The Wicked Years #3)

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  25,017 Ratings  ·  1,943 Reviews
In this much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion - the once tiny cub defended by Elphaba in Wicked. While civil war looms, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, an enigmatic figure known as Brrr - the Cowardly Lion - arrives searching for information about Elphaba Th ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by William Morrow
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Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of the series
Shelves: fiction, maguire, oz
To be honest... I'm getting frustrated with Maguire. His first book in the series (Wicked) has received national (if not global) acclaim, as it rightly should. I was originally entranced by Maguire's ability to reinvent Oz while still keeping the classical whimsical elements alive, in fact fleshing them out by putting them in a realistic and harsh reality of social commentary. However, with the introduction of Son of a Witch, about which he has said he never planned for, Maguire has gone on to t ...more
Jason Koivu
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Yes, A Lion Among Men has them all!

This is the Cowardly Lion's story in a nutshell...and a few other nuts are de-shelled as well. Watching cowards in action is hard to stomach. We forever wish them to be brave, to show some sign of courage. But that is not the Lion's way. Following him on his cowardly journey through life is taxing.

On the other hand, if you're a superfan of Oz - the sort who's at least read the Baum originals if not all of the myriad fanfic o
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, own
So. The third book in what's now referred to as The Wicked Years. Alright. I adore Wicked, both in its written and musical forms. Son of a Witch was a decent sequel. And I was really excited when I learned that we'd get the Lion's perspective in all this.

Brrr is on Emerald City business, in search of the oracle Yackle, who was mentioned in Madame Morrible's notes. Why? Mostly in search of both The Grimmerie, Elphaba's book of magic, and Liir, her son. Yackle was often on the outskirts of Elphab
Dec 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Sandi by: Christmas present from my husband
Shelves: 2009, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Considering how much I enjoyed Wicked, and how much more I enjoyed Son of a Witch, I found A Lion Among Men disappointing. I was all geared up to find out what happens with Liir and you-know-what-from-the-end-of-Son of a Witch, but the third book in this series barely mentions him. Instead, this book focuses primarily on the Cowardly Lion and his life experiences, and touches a bit on Fiyero's daughter.
I found the author's language annoying, if not incomprehensible at times (or maybe I just did
Aug 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I really love Gregory Maguire's writing style, and I love where he has gone with this story over the three novels. The structure of this book, however, felt somewhat scattered--it wasn't until the end, the last few chapters, where I started to feel that it had any coherency, unlike in Son of a Witch, where, although it may not have always been clear what the connections were, exactly, they always felt like connections. I suppose this is due to the fact that the protagonist in this story had litt ...more
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
After the rushed feeling of "Son of a Witch", MacGuire redeems himself with this novel... it made me feel as if some wounds were healed for both the reader and the characters.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It has been three long years since we last traveled to OZ. And much has changed.

The land, once joined together, is now separated into two parties: those that support the current Wizard of OZ and the Munchkinlanders who long to be free and their own people.

It is not the OZ we’ve come to know. It is an OZ on the brink of war and on the cusp of social change. Whether it is change for the better remains to be seen.

Heedless of the turmoil of OZ that surrounds him, Brr, The Cowardly Lion, is on a miss
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
What a disappointment! Wicked was an act of amazing and original brilliance, taking a world that we are all familiar with, and turning it completely upside down. Brilliantly imagined and equally brilliantly realized, one of its strongest suits was the way in which Maguire took elements of the original books, (not just Wizard) and wove them together into a familiar and yet wholly new world.

Since then, his approach to the series feels labored and incomprehensible to me. Son of a Witch was weak, a
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
"Wicked" was fantastically drawn, while at the same time intriguingly vague and introspective. In my opinion it was a masterpiece. "Son of a Witch" and now "A Lion Among Men" only make blind attempts at creating the same mystique; they stumble along the way and end up a jumble of meaningless revelations that do nothing but create a more convoluted and less intriguing story. At the same time that story has none of the charm of "Wicked". Fleeting references to and reimaginings of the original Oz b ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ever seen the clip from the old school Hercules movie in which the demi god throws his fists in the air and bellows at the top of his lungs, "Disappointeeeeeed!!!"" .... Upon finishing this book, that is exactly what I did, but I'm a nerdy ginger not a demi god, so the effect may have been less impactful. I adored Wicked, tolerated Son Of A Witch, and despised A Lion Among Men. I kept reading this last book hoping all the while that the everlasting backstory would turn into a decent plot, but my ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Maguire is a fantastic world builder and blew audiences away with Wicked back in 1995. Lion continues in this tradition, but offers no characters that differ greatly from those in Wicked. Maguire has a tendency of making all his characters very similar: Incredibly pessimistic and overly verbose. Often they sound like depressives who have just walked out of a thesaurus. But what is more unfortunate is that Maguire tries to substitute this pessimism for the guiding philosophy of the book. By empha ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Arg! Just finished this last night, and it has the same curse as "Son of a Witch," in that it reveals just so much, but leaves you with so many more questions. I'd really hoped, for the satement of my curiosity, that this would be the last book, in which all is revealed. But, no. Which some day will be magnificent, when we sit down with the many books in this series, a cup of coffee, a warm blanket, and days and days ahead to gorge on this delightful brain candy. For now, I am agonized over the ...more
Faith Reidenbach
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
Disenchanted. That's what I am with Gregory Maguire. This book is almost completely backstory; we learn nothing more about Liir and Tristam and Candle and the new arrival. The part of the story that does advance moves only about 3 inches, and it was no mystery who the handmaiden of the clock is anyway. And Yackle's story--if you have to summarize it at the end, it wasn't well delivered. Speaking of the ending, it was ponderous, and Maguire could have done better than use a literal deus ex machin ...more
Isabel Bitterblau

Pese a que sigue el mismo estilo que los anteriores libros, me ha gustado menos.

La historia me ha resultado más aburrida y el personaje principal, Brrr, menos interesante que Elphaba o Liir, y aunque se han desvelado algunas incognitas, y algunas partes han sido muy interesamtes, me ha parecido bastante relleno en general

Aún así me sigue gustando mucho la manera de narrar de Maguire y he de agradecer haber podido saber más de la historia de Yackle, personaje que siempre me interesó mucho
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
It took me ages to get into this book. It's not the best of the series by far. I didn't even Like Brr or Yackle. You do learn a lot more about Yackle though. It is funny in parts too. The ending left room for more books. Eh...
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
LOVING this book. Every other page I want to mark a quote. Thought Wicked was intriguing, Son of a Witch, fabulous. This is even better.

Maguire is either an Asperger's person or intimately knows someone who is, as he so perfectly describes the journey of a character who grew up with no social interaction abandoned in a forest (King of the Forest?), and slowly learns the art of conversation and dealing with people and relationships through eventual painful life experience. Beautifully and brillia
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it
I'll start this out simple; Maguire has yet to equal the writing he exhibited in Wicked. This being said, A Lion Among Men was a much stronger novel than Son of a Witch.

I don't get the sense that Maguire's writing abilities have improved since Wicked was published. Fortunately, he created a truly brilliant character back then in the form of Yackle. It is Yackle's presence that gives this novel much of its metaphysical spark and devious humor. She develops a rapport with the lion that is enterta
I love Maguire's style and use of language. As he writes, I can hear his voice narrating and performing (which is why I won't spoil it with the audiobook, Maguire himself is a wonderful performer, and it was a delight to see him in person.) Lion is not as compelling as the previous two books, but gains momentum with the reappearance of Yackle, and the subsequent explanation of the character.
Apr 04, 2009 rated it liked it
The third book in Maguire's return to Oz fills in some gaps in the ongoing storyline, and has a few moments, but overall falls short of the entrancing epic of "Wicked."
I enjoyed the book, and am glad to have read it, but wouldn't put it in the 'classic' status like "Wicked" or in my "must read again" bookshelf.
“Children played at those stories; they dreamed about them. They took them to heart and acted as if to live inside them.”

I'm glad I finally made it back to this series, to finish up book 3. I've enjoyed so many of these author's books that it was great to enjoy another. But this one did not hold my attention as much as the previous ones. I loved book one, only liked book 2 and I would put this one as somewhere between just okay and I liked it.

I think something about Elphaba's journey really stru
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of the series so far this was the best one and the one I enjoyed the most. I love the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz and he's my favourite character in the film so I think that's probably why I liked this book so much. I found it was alot easier to read than the other two and was easier to get into because of that. Definitely recommend reading the series even just so you can read this one as it's so good
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Third in the 'Wicked' series, this story of Brrr the Lion fills in gaps in the overall tale, with a sad tone of regret and loss. Like many current regimes, corruption reigns, power-mad 'leaders' use others, and failure is sometimes rewarded to the haplenss. Maguire's analogies to community (the forgetful bears, the wary tigers) and politics take an even darker tone, while the quest for the magical Grimmerie book surprises. I enjoyed the references to the other iterations of Baum's Oz. Yes, it's ...more
Ruby Boyer
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
enjoyed this one alot more than the others! looking forward to the ending, but i still find myself so lost in his writing having no idea whats going on and then all of a sudden it clicks!
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Continuing the saga of The Wicked Years, A Lion Among Men is the story of Sir Brrr, a.k.a. the Cowardly Lion of Oz, and his quest to find out his own origins. Also tasked by the throne of Oz with acquiring any information he can find about the late Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West, he comes to the mauntery known as the Cloister of Saint Glinda to interrogate an ancient oracle known as Yackle on what she might know about the dead witch. In return, Yackle wants some ansers of her own, ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have read a lot of Gregory Maguire’s books and some I’ve enjoyed and some have been really terrible. He’s one of those authors that is really hit or miss. Luckily, A Lion Among Men was a hit and one of the first of this series.

The first book of Maguire’s that I ever read was Wicked and, while it started out very promising, ended on a more sour note. I had also heard negative reviews about the sequel to Wicked and never ended up reading it. So when I picked this book up, the story of the Coward
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning was a little slow but I liked the Lion's story. Yackle is also an interesting character and I admit I was happy to read about her again. They bring the book to a cool end.
Nicholas Karpuk
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Oz Fans, Cowards, Chickens, Sissies
It's hard to make a compelling story about a coward. They tend to avoid the sort of exciting things people write stories about. If there's any universe a coward could work in as a protagonist, it's the Wicked Year, where failure comes practically guaranteed.

The authenticity of the Cowardly Lion (whose name was established as Brrr in the first book) relies on the realism of his cowardice. It's not the sort where he immediately screams and runs, it's the consistency of his bad decision making. Giv
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who likes satire mixed with fantasy
The final book of Gregory Maguire's trilogy loses none of the magic and bite of Wicked and flows more easily than Son of a Witch, perhaps because it doesn't get lost in the dungeons of Emerald City as that one did. Maguire's prose is itself often magical. We see starry nights as amazing as Van Gogh's, hear music from oak string trees, and see characters morfing as in an Anime film or even a cartoon. The amazing assortment of characters continue: dwarfs, Munchkins, Animals, animals, winged women, ...more
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Is it worth reading? Is it skippable? 14 94 Nov 22, 2016 11:35AM  
need to read son of a witch first? 9 42 Aug 20, 2012 05:40PM  
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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

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)
  • Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years, #2)
  • Out of Oz (The Wicked Years, #4)
“Waking up was a daily cruelty, an affront, and she avoided it by not sleeping.” 125 likes
“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.” 75 likes
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