Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

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.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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14 comments to Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

  • We feel the same way. I’ve never enjoyed his other books either. Seeing this one published and reviewed makes me want to try again. Glad you liked this one.

  • I just don’t think I could slog through the other ones to get to a good ending. I have avoided them thus far.

  • I too LOVED Wicked – and was less than impressed with Son of a Witch, although with the passage of time I don’t dislike it quite as much. I have been hesitant about reading either Lion Among Men or this new release. I will probably read them on audiobook so that I am not so upset if I don’t like them – at least I don’t waste my precious reading time. Thanks for this review.

  • hm, so skipping the two books in-between sounds like a plan to me. I didn’t love Wicked as much as others did…

  • Thank you for this review! I loved Wicked. Loved it. Tried to read the second in the series and just couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t enjoy it. So glad I can skip those and jump straight to Out of Oz. Think I’ll need to re-read Wicked first thought – been a while (will have to break out the tissues though…).

  • For years I had no clue there were sequels to Wicked and debated about getting them. Glad I didn’t apparently. I’ll wait for this one to come out in paperback.

    • That should be and then I found out about the sequels and debated about getting them. :) How long can I milk that I’m sick for errors of the brain? :)

      • There’s a long period of time where the “you’ve been very sick” excuse is acceptable, don’t worry =). The one thing about getting this NOW instead of waiting for paperback is that there is a map in the end papers and it will only be full color for the FIRST hardcover printing. So if that’s important to you, it is something to consider. If not, library or paperback it is!

  • I’ve seen the play, Wicked, but haven’t read any of the books. I have Out of Oz though, and am glad to hear I can go right to it and skip books 2 and 3. Hooray!

  • I still haven’t read Wicked, let alone the rest of the books. Maybe one day I will, but I just never seem to be in a hurry to do it.

  • Great review! I read Wicked and own the others but have not read them. I want to catch up and have wondered how this one fared.

  • Andrew

    I agree that Out of Oz was a much-needed boost to end the series. But oh… I was so frustrated by the end!!! Shell was revealed to be a somewhat pathetic character – where is the villain to be deposed? Tip’s transformation into Ozma was completely uninteresting and left me with no sense of fulfilment to a storyline that I had been excited about ever since that flirtatious glimpse of Mombi & Tip in Son of a Witch (something that only true Oz fans would have recognised!). Glinda was left to rot in a manner totally undeserving of her character. Glinda was responsible for battling Mombi and forcing her to revert Tip in the original Oz books, and if Maguire had stuck to this, it would have been a much more satisfying tale. Glinda was building up to use magic again… to be meaningful again… but nothing happened to that. I have met Maguire and thought he was a lovely man, but as much as I hate to say it, his writing is over-rated. Sigh. It’s sad when you fall out of love with someone.