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Wicked / Son of a Witch

(The Wicked Years #1-2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,835 ratings  ·  78 reviews
This unique volume combines two modern classics spun from the imagination of national bestselling author Gregory Maguire. Wicked, told from the perspective of Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West, gives the wildly entertaining prehistory of the Emerald City of Oz before the arrival of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Woodsman. The saga continu ...more
Leather Bound, Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics, 743 pages
Published October 3rd 2008 by Barnes & Noble
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  4,835 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Juliet Lyons
I loved the first half of Wicked. I was utterly addicted. Then it all fell apart. The writing was superb, don't get me wrong, but there were too many questions and almost NO answers. I read it because I love the West End show but it wasn't anything like it. I feel like it could have been a masterpiece, one of those laugh, cry marvellous books. Instead it just frustrated me. I AM glad I read it. I did like it. It just wasn't what I wanted it to be. I wanted so much more for Elphaba. SO much more ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
This review is specifically about "Son of a Witch" since I read "Wicked" over 10 years ago.

Some of the world building aspects were hard to follow - though this may be due to the fact I have very vague memories of "Wicked" - so I don't really downgrade my rating of the book for that. One thing I did like was that often Macguire would just drop a comment about something that would be common and obvious to the characters and just leave it at that without explanation. But, it was always for things t
I thought this was going to be different than it was. Not Aweful, but not great.
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Holy shit what a great book. I've never really looked into the whole Oz / Wicked thing, so thanks to my family for getting me this!

I love villain backstories. There's always two sides to a story! I like it way better this way. Elphaba is born with green skin and razorsharp teeth; the first thing she does is bite someone's finger off - and her first word (after refusing to speak but listening carefully) is "horrors". I felt with Nanny and loved her at once. She goes to college, runs away fr
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This book (these books, depending on the edition you're reading) will certainly change the way you look at Oz. More like the darker "Return to Oz" that, depending on your age and what sort of movies you liked growing up, may or may not have haunted many of our nightmares during our formative years, and less like the magical, sweet, (if sometimes somewhat dark), wonderful world of "The Wizard of Oz" that many more have experienced. I'd have to argue that these books made the movies make so much m ...more
Tamra Hilton
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because it gave a different side to what was thought, a very one sided character. I believe nothing is as it appears on the surface and there are always two (or more) sides.

It made me think about people I see or get a glimpse of at a specific life event or season of their lives and come away with a certain opinion of them. But like it is always said, "You can never judge a book by it's cover."
Bivisyani Questibrilia
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bivisyani by: Hilda Dermaya Arifia
After a long and hard struggle, I finally managed to finished this two-in-one volume. It has been quite a ride and not entirely what I expected, but I'm so glad to have finished it. So here's a thorough review of both books, enjoy!

First I found out about Wicked was through Glee the TV series. They performed one of its songs, Defying Gravity, and I was quickly entranced. It got me intrigued to want to read the book—since seeing the musical is simply out of the question. It took
Oct 29, 2020 rated it liked it
** For Wicked review, go to the first Wicked book on my page **

Son of a Witch
329 pages

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 powers? Can he find his supposed hal
Franziska Beck
Sep 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I want to explain my rating, because it’s the result of combining individual ratings for each novel.

I loved Wicked. I read it twice, the first time in german, the second time in the original version. I would give Wicked 4/5 stars.
I’ve been wanting to read Son Of A Witch for a decade. The ending of Wicked left me excited for the next chapter in the story. But I just did not enjoy SOAW. I almost stopped reading it and I’m glad that I didn’t because there are gems hidden in the mess that is this st
Evelyn  Torres
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love what Gregory Maguire has done to the fairy tales we grew up with. Wicked got me hooked on his writing.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follows the story of Elphaba's son. If you enjoyed "Wicked" you will enjoy this book too. ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wicked is great for understanding the Witch of the West in Oz. Son of a Witch is even better for humanizing her.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Wicked. Son of a Witch, however, was tiresome.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
After reading the two of these I am eternally in shock that the musical was as good as it was
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
R rated just so you know!
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I often was drawn to this book when I saw it at the book stores. I would pick up the book and peruse the pages, as I do when purchasing a book. Each time I did that I just thought it was too hard of a read. It seemed too hard to follow so I would put down the book and move on. I must have done this on ten different visits to various book stores. I really really wanted to like and read this book but every time it just seemed like it would be too much of an undertaking. Then on
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Gregory Maguire knows how to weave a novel in an intimate way that encaptures the reader into the world he's painting. Both of these novels, WickedandSon of a Witch are must reads.

In Wicked, Maguire puts his own spin of the tale of the Wicked Witch of the West. While keeping true to the events given by the original story, Maguire manages to cut his own version of the story in a whole new way. Elphaba Thropp lives her life in obscurity as the green skinned child born to a minister and h
Dec 27, 2009 rated it liked it
This is two different books, so I am stopping after Wicked to give some thoughts, then coming back after reading something else.

This was given as a gift (I think, maybe I bought it, its been on the shelf for a while) after seeing the play and I'm happy to have the long pause between the two tellings of the story. The novel (as novels are apt to do) spends more time marinading through the grounds moral ambiguity than the play. The thought isn't as simple as, "there is another side to the story",
Jun 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book from a friend to help an airline flight pass more quickly. This book is the second in a triology. Although I hadn't read the first book or seen the play, Wicked, it was easy to pick up the thread and enter the story. It's essentially a book about what happens after Dorothy has left Oz and the Great Wizard has been deposed. The main character is a young man, who may or may not be the son of the Wicked Witch of the West, and his quest to find a childhood friend who was caught up in the poli ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I had seen the musical Wicked in NY and fell in love with it. I thought this book would be an extended version of the musical. I was correct in that it was an extended version and you could see where parts of the musical came from but this book was unable to hold my interest like the musical. There were lots of extended story lines that didn't add value to the overall story. I was also surprised to find some of the sex scenes in the book, I figured this was more of a y ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really liked Wicked until the last section where Elphaba became totally ineffective and moped away 7 years of her life and just gave up her campaign against the Wizard. I did like the story of Elphaba's early years and Nessa and Glinda and Shiz. I found both books to be a little confusing at times...kinda felt like a few things were missing or poorly explained. But maybe it was just intended to leave a little mystery to the world of Oz. I liked the dark and graphic writing, but I felt it got a ...more
Lucienne Avis
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wicked - a strange adaptation that runs parallel to the original tale from L. Frank Baum. It is a book for adults with swear words, violence and sex (tastefully done). I enjoyed the story and the spin one can take from a classic tale. Wicked covers the birth of the Wicked Witch of the West until shortly after her demise. With Dorothy it is clear this text is not part of Baum's story.

Son of a Witch- This tale overlaps with Wicked and follows Liij, a boy many think is the son of Elphaba, as he tri
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Ok, I really enjoyed the book by itself, but as i watched the musical first i was really hoping that some of the things would be in the book and they weren't. Its safe to say I was let down by it but the narrative is really enjoyable and there are scenes which lead me to some philosophical thoughts. And the best part and worst part is that is SOOOOO diferent from the musical. It takes you so many years after university and I'm so glad that the book explored more about Elphaba's mind and actions. ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Forgotten Realms Queen
Jan 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
It took me five weeks to read three quarters of this compilation, then i had to tap out. I loved the first part of it, the tale of Wicked. It was intriguing, well paced, and made you want to keep reading.

Son of a Witch, the second half, I could not do. The concept was good, but the pacing was horrible and it tended to wander off on irrelevent tangents for a chapter or two at a time. I finally gave up because i was forcing myself to read it and not enjoying it anymore.

Wicked was awesome. Son of a
Clarisa Morales
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wicked: loved this! I originally wanted to see the Broadway musical but didn't get the chance so my brother got me the book. Since I've only seen the movie "the wizard of oz" I had nothing more to influence my thoughts on what to expect or anticipate other than her death in the end. I took my time reading this half due to my pregnancy but I finally finished and I got to finish the son of s witch shortly after.

Son if a witch: I loved it. However a few dialogues left me confused and the ending lef
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have already finished the first book "Wicked" in this collector's edition book. "Wicked" is very long and the font in this edition is small so it took me quite some time to finish. I really enjoyed the story even though some parts are a little dark in nature. Reading the beginning of this chilhood story I loved, as an adult, was well worth it. I plan to begin reading "Son of a Witch" shorty. ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read "Wicked", but not "Son of a Witch." Sadly, I saw the Wicked musical before I read the book. I thought the stage show had a much smoother narration and filled in more gaps than the book. Much of the book was unexplained, and it did not match with the events from "The Wizard of Oz." I get the idea that Maguire wanted to demonstrate how the story could have been communicated incorrectly in "Wizard," but I felt it was too different to be really enjoyable. ...more
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Totally unexpected! I heard of this book and decided to take a leap of faith and I've never regretted. These tales of the wicked witch of the west and another story of what happens next are great insightful, humorous, dark, sad and sympathetic. The roller-coaster ride and the insight behind the story of someone thought wicked will open your eyes to other points of view/versions of a story in a way that is utterly enjoyable. ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Wicked, it seemed more like an old-school fairy tale and I really liked that (though the ending was clumsy and hurried). Son of a witch however I didn't even really finish to be honest...the story of Liir didn't grab me at all, it was dull and the characters rather unlikable. I wanted to give it 3.5 stars but since I can't I gave it 4 just because of Wicked. ...more
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Lit Muse: Wicked and Son of a Witch 1 4 Oct 13, 2011 07:41PM  

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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)
  • A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, #3)
  • Out of Oz (The Wicked Years, #4)

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