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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

Title: Out of Oz
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 568
ISBN:  9780060548940
How I Read It: Hard cover purchased by me.
My Rating: 5 Crowns!

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: Like many others, I was long awaiting this final installment of Maguire’s Wicked Years series, and it did not disappoint.  I think this is a series that you either love or hate, I know few people who feel neutrally about it.  I’ve anxiously awaited every new book to come out, and I have sang the praises of this series from the moment I picked it up.

Maguire has truly taken and modified a world we are all at least moderately familiar with, following both the mythology of L. Frank Baum’s original world of Oz, and merging it with his own.  The entire idea of the Wicked Witch of the West having any descendents is of Maguire’s creation, but he’s done his research and created a fabulous new Oz that does a great job of continuing his own characters as well as combining them with those that Baum created.

I’ve personally read the entire original Oz series, and appreciated the effort Maguire put in to using other lesser known characters from that set, as well as taking the future Baum created after the Wizard left Oz and using that for his own purposes.  So many of the things that take place in Maguire’s series occur in the original series – I won’t tell you what these are, for fear of spoiling this book for you, but I can assure you that it’s a wonderful coming together of both views of Oz.  With or without the history some fans may have with the original series, I think this is a satisfying conclusion to Maguire’s version of what happened.

I went through a range of emotions as I followed Rain through the years of her life, the reunions we all knew were coming and the inevitability of meeting characters we were already familiar with but Rain herself is not.  Oz is a small place, and as our characters have come to find out, no one can really hide forever.  People on all sides are looking for the mysterious Grimmerie and Rain, who has no idea who she is or what her significance is to Oz.

I was thrilled to see how things would pan out for Rain, her family, and the other citizens of Oz.  I absolutely loved this book, and I would say that it’s my second favorite in the series, just behind Wicked.  The only thing that has me sad is knowing that this is the end – just as Baum continued to write his series for many volumes, I wish Maguire would continue for awhile longer as well.  If you haven’t read the series yet, you really should give it a try!

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Holly said...

Loved all the Oz books and I have this one waiting for me as soon as I finish my review books. Glad its a winner!

Crystal - Princess of Pop Culture said...

I'm glad too! I was a little worried at first because of the negative reviews, so I'm very happy that I loved it so much :)