Has there been a film version?
No, but there are possibilities they make it into a Broadway musical, like they did with “Wicked.”
Who are the important characters?
Liir – the possible son of the “Wicked” Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp
Candle – an abandoned Quadling girl living at the mauntery of Saint Glinda, she possesses great skill on the domingon
Nor – Liir’s possible half sister, last seen in Southstair prison under the reign of the Wizard
Princess Nastoya – the leader of the Scrow, a sentient Elephant disguised as a person, she longs to die but can’t
Shell – Elphaba’s brother, first a rake, then ruler of Oz
Trism – a trainer of dragons in the army of Oz
Glinda – the Good Witch Glinda, former friend of Elphaba’s and now ruler of Oz
What’s it about?
Liir is the teenage boy who lived with the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp. He accompanied Dorothy to the Emerald City after she killed Elphaba, and now – ten years later, he has shown up broken in spirit and bone. He’s taken to the mauntery of Saint Glinda and there an orphan named Candle tends him with her domignon. Through her music, Liir relives the past ten years where he has been searching for his half sister, Nor, and trying to find a purpose in his life. He still doesn’t know whether Elphaba was his mother or not, and is trying to find a way to help the Princess Nastoya to die. When he finally awakens. Liir is faced with a choice about whether to continue along the path to self-discovery and awareness or to hide from his past and abandon his future.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Because “Wicked” was so astoundingly popular.
Do you recommend I read this book?
If you really liked “Wicked” you’ll probably like this.
How did this book make your list?
I like Gregory Maguire.
Has it won any awards?
“The shapes within shifted as he tilted it this way and that, to try to surprise himself by a new aspect. Catch a new angle, learn a new regret. Anything.” – p 197
Maguire is currently working on a third book in this series called “A Cowardly War” based on the story of the Cowardly Lion. It could cover anything from just a story about the lion, to the return of Ozma, to the reincarnation of Elphaba…
I will be the first to admit I very rarely understand Gregory Maguire’s writing. I don’t understand the point he’s trying to make, the political or social statements, or even why he writes his stories the way he does. The only reason I really enjoy reading them is their new take on fairy tales which provides a more adult look at the already adult tales which have been watered down to children’s stories over the decades. This story, however, is only a sequel to an already explored familiar novel in “Wicked.” And for that reason, I struggled with it. I thought the further development of Oz as a country was interesting, especially with the existence of Southstairs. And I appreciated the deeper look at the different ethnic groups in Oz. But overall, I didn’t care for the story one bit. I didn’t like Liir – he was whiny and annoying, then apathetic and boring. And I was confused as to why Maguire even included the search for Nor, he seemed to start a plotline and then drop it when he got tired of it without even resolving it in any way. But then, I’ve never claimed to understand him or his writing.