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Son of a Witch

Son of a Witch

B

Enchanted elephants and dragon death squads — Maguire’s sequel to his 1995 best-seller, Wicked, is as fantastical as a novel set in Oz should be. Son of a Witch opens with Liir, supposed son of the late Elphaba (Wicked‘s willful, thrilling Witch of the West), smashed nearly to death in a gully. Through flashbacks and real time, we learn his story, visiting corners of Oz and traveling briefly with pert, self-interested Dorothy (it’s irreverently remarked that she will require ”a husband with a good strong backhand”). Unfortunately, Maguire is so busy packing in characters (Tip, creator of Jack Pumpkinhead, has a needless, frustrating cameo) and ever-looping mythology that he can’t tie all the bewitching strings together. In the end, this hero’s journey plays like a series of enthralling anticlimaxes — although much may be forgiven if Son becomes the middle book of a trilogy.

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