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Wicked Years Books In Order

Publication Order of Wicked Years Books

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Son of a Witch (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Lion Among Men (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Out of Oz (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Wicked Years is a series of books written by an American author of literature & fiction, children’s books and science fiction and fantasy novels Gregory Maguire. The novels present an analysis or a revisionist takes on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum’, it’s 1939 film adaptations and the related books. This is a different look at Oz as is seen in the novels by L. Frank Baum or in the movies. Unlike the original books, these novels are not intended for reading by children. This Wizard of Oz is bedeviled with plenty of social problems like racial tensions between people of different ethnic groups, discrimination against sentient animals referred to as animals in the book.

Many of the main characters in the Wizard of Oz are presented either as neutral or antagonists. There are four books in The Wicked Years series. The debut Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West published in 1995 details the life of the famous antagonist from Baum’s novels, now known as Elphaba. The novel is narrated through a different point of views of those who knew Elphaba, an outcast with an allergy to water. This novel was a big success and was adapted into a Broadway musical known as the Wicked by Stephen Schwartz.

Son of a Witch a sequel to the Wicked Years was published in 2005 and follows the life of Elphaba child Liir. The novel is told from the perspective of Liir who is trying to trace the whereabouts of his half-sister Nor and ultimately finishes some of his mother’s work. The novel kicks off not long after the end of the first book. A Lion Among Men is the third book in the series published in 2008. The main character is the Cowardly Lion from Baum’s books now known as Brrr. His story from cubhood to the present time of the novel is narrated in parallel with the history of the Oracle Yackle who is first introduced Wicked.

Wicked

As far as fairy tales are concerned, Adults often know them to be just simple moral tales of how things would go awry if you want the wrong things. As hooked of them as adults may be, these tales are not often interpreted, dissected or believed in for much farther than that.

The intensity behind Maguire novels is his capacity of understanding that both the real world and the fantasy world can be united by infiltrating the mystical with realistic emotions, hard situations, and simple human spirit. Even in the realms he beautifully creates, (some which are simple, common earthly places, and others which are fantastical) the author manages to prove that regardless of where you are, life happens. People feel resentment; people get jealous and hurt. There is no sugarcoating, and there is not always a simple and straightforward solution to everything.

From the word go, it’s pretty apparent that he does not want to create a pretty or perfect world, but rather he wishes to take the ideal, lovely world we are used to, and transforms it into something that we hate discovering about ourselves. He fills the pages with the things that we humans refuse to admit about ourselves and at times makes us commiserate with the characters who we as children once passionately hated.

Wicked is the tale of the Wicked Witch of the West and how she finally became the Wicked Witch of the West. The book dives deeper into the witch’s life whose real name is Elphaba. She is green and has pointy teeth and needless to say she is not popular with the other children and even her parents aren’t sure about her either.

As the story progresses, we get to see Elphaba at college, falls in with a number of students, some who are more and others less accepting her green skin. However, it’s not her skin that is different, as Elphaba acts and thinks differently than other people and is allergic to water. This debut novel has a wonderful departure from the Oz novels, including details as to why the Cowardly Lion is able to speak, and the fact that every person in Oz thought Dorothy’s dog was the most irritating thing ever to draw breath.

Son of a Witch

In the years after she went to school at Shiz University, Elphaba who’s disastrous and death was documented in the debut novel had a lover named Prince Fiyero of the Vinkus. The second book in Wicked Years series picks up were the story in Wicked left off, after the fall of the Wizard of Oz and the Elphaba’s death. This book follows the story of Elphaba’s son named Liir. Just like Wicked, the Son of a Witch is not your typical great-grandparents or grandparents Oz, presenting us with a much darker and stranger side of Oz than we knew as children.

The story opens up with the discovery of the body of a young man severely wounded and left for the dead by the roadside in Vinkus. The city of Vinkus has in recent days become dangerous due to mysterious murders that involve scalping of the face, but the man’s face has not been scrapped. The person who discovers the man brings him to the Cloister of Saint in the Shale Shallows. The man in charge recognizes the man and identifies him as Liir, a young boy who left Cloister with his mother a decade ago.

In the first two chapters of the book, the story shifts from when Liir left Kiamo Ko after his mother died to the time he and a young Maunt named Candle the Cloister. The other two sections tell the story in chronological order from Liir and Candle’s arrival at Apple Press Farm. Liir’s adventures and misadventures continue, including the siring of a child with the woman Candle while he was unconscious in the mauntery, discovering that his half-brother has become the Emperor of Oz, keeping of his promise to Nastoya, and the development of a love relationship with a soldier named Tourism.

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