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Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Headline Review Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780755341542
Date: 06 September 2007 List Price £14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

I haven't seen Wicked, the hugely successful blockbuster musical based on Gregory Maguire's novel of the same name, but I was struck very much by the book, particularly in how it stripped away the whimsy from Baum's world, and in the process revealed how the witch's heart, though dark indeed, was a product of its environment and experience. All in all, it's a very clever and fascinating appraisal of the modern myth of Oz.

Maguire's sequel novel, Son of a Witch, appeared in the US a couple of years ago to mixed reviews. Headline Review now publish in the UK.

"Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz to follow the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy did in the Witch. A decade after the Witch has melted away, the young man Liir is discovered bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully. Shattered in spirit as well as in form, he is tended by the mysterious Candle, a foundling in her own right, until failed campaigns of his childhood bear late, unexpected fruit. Liir is only one part of the world that Elphaba left behind. As a boy hardly in his teens, he is asked to help the needy in ways in which he may be unskilled. Is he Elphaba's son? Has he power of his own? In "Son of a Witch", Gregory Maguire suggests that the magic we locate in distant, improbable places like Oz is no greater than the magic inherent in any hard life lived fully, son of a witch or no."

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