Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire
Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Out of Oz is the final volume in the Wicked Years series. I have previously reviewed the 3rd book, A Lion Among Men.
From the publisher:
Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.
Yet amidst all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is up to Rain to take up her broom—and her legacy—in an Oz wracked by war.
I approached Out of Oz with no small measure of trepidation. I absolutely adore Wicked, although it is slow at times, but I have had unending trouble with Maguire’s other books, both in and out of the Wicked Years series. I am not a particular fan of either Mirror Mirror or Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Of the other books within the series, I was disappointed by Son of a Witch and really very much disliked A Lion Among Men. Why, then, did I bother reading Out of Oz?
Well, other than my love for Wicked, three factors conspired to make me read Out of Oz: 1) It showed up at my door, if it hadn’t, I would have been unlikely to seek it out; 2) It is the final book in a series I had until now read in its entirety; 3) Maguire was at Unabridged Bookstore in Chicago, and was absolutely charming during the event, talking about the book in a way that intrigued me.
So, was it worth it?
Out of Oz is a worthy finale to the Wicked Years series. Here, the story is brought back more closely to Elphaba’s family, and the plot provides a rough parallel to Dorothy’s original trip to Oz. Here, as in the first time Dorothy appeared in Oz, a group held together by some rather odd bonds must discover their own strengths, braving both the Emerald City and certain forces out in the wild. By tying more closely into the initial story, it becomes a more interesting story, less like something simply attempting to milk the success of Wicked.
If you’ve read the rest of the series, you definitely should pick up Out of Oz. If you’ve only read Wicked, skip right past Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men and receive closure on the story with Out of Oz.
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