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Son Of A Witch (2006)

Son of a Witch (2006)

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3.43 of 5 Votes: 2
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0060747226 (ISBN13: 9780060747220)

About book Son Of A Witch (2006)

In the years after she attended school at Shiz Univesity, Elphaba Thropp, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West, whose tragic life and death were chronicled in Wicked, had a lover, Prince Fiyero of the Vinkus, the land lying west of the Emerald City. Fiyero was abducted and murdered by Gale Force officers, shock troops of the Wizard of Oz. Pregnant with Fiyero's child, Elphaba fled for sanctuary to the Mauntery of St. Glinda just outside Shiz, where she fell into a months-long coma. Upon her recovery, she found that her child had been born; she took vows as a maunt, remaining at the mauntery for several years after that before leaving with a strange young boy for the castle of Kiamo Ko, whose lord had been Fiyero, occupied now by his wife and children and their retainers.Son of a Witch continues the story begun with Wicked, after the fall of the WOO (Wizard of Oz) and Elphaba's death. It follows the life of Elphaba's son, Liir. Like Wicked, Son of a Witch is not your grandparents' or great-grandparents' Oz, presenting a far darker and more mysterious side of Oz than we ever knew as children.The novel opens with the discovery of the body of a young man, badly bruised and near death, by the side of a road in the Vinkus. The Vinkus has lately become dangerous due to "scrapings", mysterious killings that involve the 'scalping' of the face, but the man's face has not been scraped. The woman who discovers him brings him to the Cloister of Saint Glinda in the Shale Shallows. The Superior Maunt recognizes the young man and identifies him as Liir, the young boy who left the Cloister with Elphaba a decade or so ago.In the first two sections of the novel ("Under the Jackal Moon" and "The Service") the narrative shifts between the time when Liir left Kiamo Ko after the death of Elphaba to the time when Liir and a young maunt named Candle the Cloister. The second two sections ("The Emperor Apostle" and "No Place Like It") tell the story chronologically from Candle and Liir's arrival at Apple Press Farm to the end. An explanation for this narrative structure in the first part of the book is provided by references that Candle, in playing the domingon while Liir is in his coma-like state, is "guiding" him through his recollection of his past, and to the numerous and complex references in the novel to connections between past and present in the lives of individuals.After his mother's death, Liir had accompanied Dorothy Gale, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and Toto back to the Emerald City. While traveling, they meet Princess Nastoya, the leader of the Scrow, a Vinkus tribe. Nastoya is an Elephant who, because of the Wizard's pogrom against Animals, availed herself of a witch's charm that enabled her to transform into a human. She is slowly dying, and she asks Liir to find a way to enable her return to Elephant form before she dies. In return, she promises that she will try to learn about the fate of Nor, Fiyero's daughter, who, with her family, was taken by the Wizard's forces. When they reach the Emerald City, the others go off to receive what they were promised by the Wizard, leaving Liir alone.Liir becomes convinced that Nor is in Southstairs, a subterranean city that operates as a maximum-security prison, and seeks the aid of Glinda, appointed acting ruler of Oz after the Wizard's departure. She arranges a meeting between Liir and Shell, Elphaba's younger brother. Shell, who undertakes 'missions of mercy' in Southstairs ('comforting' female prisoners by injecting them with extract of poppy flower and taking sex as payment), brings him to the under-mayor, Chyde. When Chyde takes Liir to find Nor, they learn that Nor has recently escaped. Liir leaves Southstairs by flying out on Elphaba's broom.After living on the streets of the Emerald City for a time, Liir manages to enlist in the Home Guard. After a number of years in the service, his and three other companies (known as the "Seventh Spear"), led by Commander Cherrystone, are deployed to Qhoyre in Quadling Country, ostensibly to find those responsible for the kidnapping of the Viceroy and his wife and to maintain order. The peacefulness of the Quadlings and their lack of interest in the disappearance of the Viceroy, however, prevent the Seventh Spear from making any headway. The authorities in Emerald City push the army to get results, and in desperation, Commander Cherrystone provokes the village of Bengda into refusing to pay an exorbitant fine and orders Liir to lead a secret operation to burn the village. In the operation, many of the villagers are burned to death or drowned. Liir, filled with horror over the incident, deserts.Liir's adventures and misadventures continue, including the siring of a child with the girl Candle while he was unconscious in the mauntery; learning that his scheming half-brother Shell has become Emperor of Oz; the establishment of a love relationship with another soldier, Trism; and the keeping of his promise to Nastoya, which releases her into her Elephant form so that she can die fulfilled.Everything and everyone that the WOO touched was damaged, corrupted, or destroyed, and that is as true of Liir as anyone or anything else. Son of a Witch is at times depressing, which is natural, because like its predecessor, Wicked, it is a dystopia. But as a story it is as enthralling as Wicked is, and well worth the effort to find and read it.

This book was so satisfying. Liir, son of Elphaba, comes into his own and after 266 pages, he begins to do incredible things to help other people, lead, unite, take the helm of his mother’s legacy. And it’s so realistic because he does it while still in a state of confusion and self-doubt, obstacles he never really overcomes (neither did Elphaba really). I love how everyone says to him “if only Elphaba was here to see this…” The Bird Congress aka Witch Nation (charged by Liir to be the eyes of Oz and share info with other species and humans to foil future despots), rides in the shape of a witch on a broom, and Liir rides in the position as the Eye of the Witch.I loved it when he asked Nanny if she thought Elphaba will have a history and she said “She does already, ninnykins! I just saw her flying up the valley. Her cape went out behind her, a thousand bits in flight (the thousands of birds). Nearly touched the peaks to the left and the right. If that’s not a history, what is?” So, Liir GIVES her a history. I also like how sarcastic he becomes in the middle of the book, like his mother, after life kicks him around a lot, he lies in a coma, etc. At one point he says, “What condition? I’ve been in this condition my whole life. It’s the only condition I know. Bitter love, loneliness, contempt for corruption, blind hope. It’s where I live.” I also love how he becomes a man of wry humor and charm, accepting his fate of never knowing the answers. He tells Elphaba’s monkey “She always liked you better” and smiles at him. The monkey says “Considering who she was, is that a compliment or an insult?”He poisons all the Emperor’s dragons, which in turn saves lives, achieves revenge on Cherrystone, frees the skies for the birds, unites two warring tribes who thought each other was doing the dragon-stuff. He thinks of a way to draw out the voices of the dead, which allows the She-Elephant to die properly. He still does not know if he is Elphaba’s son until the last sentence when he holds up his newborn daughter in the rain to clean her (after finding her dead, wrapped in Elphaba’s cloak, and he revives her). Her skin is green.NOTE: How Maguire is successful in using “perception” of different witnesses and participants to alter our “perception” of the well-known Oz Story is through characters who must act without “knowing all the answers” or “having enough information.” We all face that in life. There are those who do not act because of this lack of enough info, are held back, they are cautious, and they never do anything meaningful. And then there are those who do take risks and act (you will never have all the answers or enough info) and thus make/ change history. In the traditional Oz Story, all the risks Elphaba take are mis-perceived. So, it’s fascinating how he again uses this same tool for the story of Liir, and everything he does could be perceived as bad…but it’s not. Thus, the immense satisfaction. And then you get pieces of additional info that determine he was on the right track, confirm his decisions and actions. No misperception, redirection, just the story of a regular Joe-schmoe who does amazing things. “If only Elphaba was here to see this…” I’m talking about more than a mother’s pride and personal vindication. I’m talking about a righting of the wrongs in the world that her son engineers.And again, I wonder if the son will love the granddaughter properly, being her only caretaker. Obviously yes, because of the way he cared for her immediately, again righting wrongs his mother committed against him. What kind of person will the granddaughter be, what legacy will she leave on the world? How will she carry the burden of Elphaba, the burden of being green. Will Liir ever find Nor?Green: fresh as spring, dewy, not rotten. The first color I learned about in literary symbolism. The green light of Daisy’s house that Jay Gatsby stares at across the water all the time. It meant HOPE, renewal, fresh new growth, a new beginning.

Do You like book Son Of A Witch (2006)?

I really enjoyed Son of a Witch, despite the feeling that it’s just an interlude in a larger story. With Wicked, I had lots of preconceptions about the characters, and whilst I liked the slant on them that the book provided, I suppose it did get in the way a bit. With Son of a Witch, I didn’t have those same obstacles to get past.I enjoyed finding out more about Liir. I felt he was shabbily treated in Wicked, so it was interesting to follow his development here. I did want to shout at him a few times!There are a lot of loose threads left at the end, so I suspect (hope!) there’s another book in the works. It reminded me of those M. Night Shyamalan films where you just get to see one act in a much larger story. They’re satisfying in their own way, but leave you hungry for more.

Jeez, and I thought Wicked was bad. Wicked mostly stole freely from Baum's universe in a way that lacked both respect and imagination, and still managed to be little more than a trite exercise in politically correct stupidity. Give this man the chance to write a plot of his own, and the results are twice as insufferably vain and, well, lacking in actual content. Despite Maguire's extremely poor writing style, Wicked could at least prop itself up on the familiarity of Baum's characters, but now that we're entirely in original territory it falls flat on its face and stays there. This book is boring , and I say that as a trained librarian. Despite being written by the author of the original book, it reads like bad Wicked fanfic, as mendaciously unimaginative as it is limited in its execution. I think Maguire may be the only modern author I've read so lacking in talent that he's able to somehow pull this off. This book was so bad I couldn't finish it, which is not something I say very often. I'm a bibliophile. My house has hundreds of books. However, after reading this one, I wouldn't rest until I'd convinced my wife to get rid of every Maguire book we owned. Not recommended except for total masochists or people who, well, prefer fanfic to actual books and aren't bothered by the sleaziness of this whole franchise where acknowledging the contributions of the original author is concerned.

Talk about a book that goes nowhere! I read Son of a Witch because I had read Mirror Mirror and Wicked . I really liked Mirror Mirror --it was a very creative and interesting reimagining of Snow White. I enjoyed Wicked considerably less, but it held some interest until the end. It had a lot more bizarre elements (like the wicked witch of the east having no arms) and a rambling plot. But Elphaba (the wicked witch of the west) was an interesting character throughout the novel. Son of a Witch
—Sarah Messick-Milone

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