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Out of Oz

Out of Oz - Gregory Maguire In the conclusion to his series "The Wicked Years" Gregory Maguire tells us the story of what has become of all the key players throughout the books, up to and including Dorothy. We start our adventure at Mockbegger, where General Cherrystone has imprisoned Glinda, and unwittingly lets Elphaba's granddaughter escape with Grimmerie accompanied by none other than the Cowardly Lion who will eventually lead her back to her parents, Liir and Candle, still in hiding. Munchkinland and Loyal Oz are still at war, and the erstwhile Dorothy who has returned in an earthquake, in a surprising turn is on trial for the murder of The Wicked Witches of the East and West.

There is a lot going on in this book, yet Maguire manages it well, as he always does. Much of the story is taken up by Brr, the Cowardly Lion, and Rain, Elphaba's granddaughter. This worked well for me, as Brr is one of my favorite characters, and I was glad to not be focusing on Liir again. Dorothy has become an incredibly annoying caricature, but blissfully her parts were few. I was quite surprised by how attached I got to Rain. Her character is a return to Wicked, and what made me fall in love with his books in the first place.

What I really liked about this book, and truthfully as his others, is that Maguire never makes anything simple and easy. There are twists and turns, and while all the stories get wrapped up, it's never in the way you expected, not with happy endings, but in a way that is a little truer to life. I appreciate an author who can take a story, especially fantasy, and make you feel as if it is possible. This was a fitting conclusion to the series and I would definitely recommend it to those who read the Wicked Years books, even if they didn't like the second and third entries into the series.