“Maguire’s work is melodic, symphonic, and beautiful; it is dejected and biting and brave. How great that people flock to these magical novels.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Bestselling author Gregory Maguire’s remarkable series, The Wicked Years, comes full circle with this, his fourth and final excursion across a darker, richer, more complex landscape of “the magical land of Oz.” Out of Oz brilliantly reimagines L. Frank Baum’s world over the rainbow as wracked with social unrest—placing Glinda the good witch under house arrest and having the cowardly Lion on the lam from the law as the Emerald City prepares to make war on Munchkinland. Even Dorothy makes a triumphant return in Maguire’s magnificent Oz finale—tying up every loose green end of the series he began with his classic Wicked, the basis for the smash hit Broadway musical.
The final volume of Maguire s Wicked Years series finds Oz torn by war, and Shell Thropp, Elphaba s brother, as emperor. Munchkinland has seceded, and the Emerald City invades with the Ozian army to get it back. Glinda, former Throne Minister, is held under house arrest by General Cherrystone, who takes an interest in Rain, Glinda s broom girl, teaching her to read. He doesn t know that Rain is actually Liir s daughter and Elphaba s granddaughter, and the only one who can understand the infamous Grimmerie, supposedly a volume of magical lore, coveted by Oz. A troupe of traveling players arrive and secretly give the Grimmerie to Glinda, who distracts the soldiers long enough to send Rain off with Brrr (aka the Cowardly Lion). So begins a quest for Rain to discover her true identity and unravel the layers of political and personal secrets that have caused strife and division in Oz. Maguire s take on the trouble-prone Dorothy Gale is refreshing, and his Oz far darker, sadder, harsher, more complex, and convoluted than Baum s (which will make this hard to follow for readers unfamiliar with the series). The language and imagery are rich, and the sense of love, loss, and regret palpable. For fans, this will be a revealing and satisfying end to the layered tale begun in Wicked.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Out of Oz
Gregory Maguire is a genius with a pencil. His use of words, his turn of phrase is unlike any other author I've read, and that's no small number. Personally, I'd give anything to be able to write like this.
Worth the wait! An excellent addition to the series!
Was it worth waiting for?
Frankly, I'm not so sure. I've read virtually all of McGuire's books, including the entire Wicked series, and truthfully, I was disappointed with how he chose to conclude this series. Entirely too much of the book consists of a narrative of characters merely wandering through Oz. Hundreds of pages of thick description of pointless travel which at times seemed more of a Fodor's of Oz rather than an apt conclusion of a four-book series. McGuire seems to deliberately avoid offering the reader any satisfaction. He reintroduces characters and concepts from the earlier books just to then suddenly change course from what would otherwise be an interesting and memorable moment. Instead, he will then toss the reader something abstract or overly descriptive in order to avoid what could be a worthwhile plot point. His characters, who undergo years of tribulations together, seem to be left without any connections whatsoever. Friendship, loyalty, appreciation for a fellow Ozian simply doesn't exist. Nobody remotely seems to like one another, or have any regard for the history that McGuire has woven for them. With the conclusion of any series, you would expect a touch of sentimentality. It's wholly absent from this book. The book seems to acknowledge that the entire series was a waste of time. If you find yourself very interested in Ozian politics, for some reason, enjoy this final book in the series, but if you were looking for gratification for plowing through three books of 'maybes' and 'what ifs', you are not going to find it here.