Just Finished Reading – Series Reread

I have this habit, before a new book in a series comes out, I reread the entire series first. I find it helpful because it reminds me of what happened and I’m more prepared for some minor plot point that might play out in a larger way in the new book. I also like that it gives me a reason (as if I really need one) to reread a favorite series. These books have been out awhile so I’m not watching for spoilers, so if you haven’t read them yet, be warned.

On Nov. 1st, Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire was released. It is the fourth book in the Wicked series, so I am rereading the first three before I buy the new one.

First in the series is Wicked: The Like and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. This book is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. This book begins with the Witch’s parents awaiting her birth. She is born green and with a set of nasty little teeth. Her parents name her Elphaba (which is a play off the name of the author of the original Oz books). The story has the barest resemblance to the original with handfuls of familiar names and ideas. It can be hard to read, with prose so florid that it seems almost another character in the story.

Second in the series is Son of a Witch. This book follows Liir and tells the story of when he left Kiamo Ko with Dorothy after the Witch is killed. He becomes a soldier, is horribly injured, meets a girl, and uncovers a plot hatched by the new Apostle Emperor, Shell Thropp (who just happens to be the younger brother of Elphaba). This book can be a little convoluted and moves kind of sideways. It’s much easier to understand on a second read, but Liir is an interesting character and only at the end is there any real evidence either way that he is Elphaba’s son.

Third is A Lion Among Men  and, you guessed it, it is the tale of the Cowardly Lion, who only makes a fleeting but significant appearance in the first book. The story is in the present, but has a lot of backstory. I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the book is the backstory of the Lion, whose name is Brrr. Now knowing that there is a fourth book, upon rereading I think this book was just set up for Out of Oz. It is interesting and there are a couple of interesting twists that make it worth the read.

So, now I have to go buy the fourth book. Maybe I’ll go get it, stay home and read it this weekend while all the insane are out battling crowds of crazy people. 😉 .

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