In the third book of The Wicked Years series, we learn the story of Brrr, better known as the Cowardly Lion. Told mainly in retrospect, as he remembers his past, we get an interesting look at the Cowardly Lion, mainly a bit player in the life of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. He made many mistakes, his morals questionable, being tarred, unfairly, amongst other things as Elphaba's familiar, a collaborationist to the Wizard, and most recently a traitor. Now he is on the hunt for the Grimmerie after making a deal with the government to avoid being tossed into Southstairs. He searches out Yackle, the maunt and oracle who always seemed to hover on the edge of Elphaba's story.
I found this book to be a big improvement upon Son a Witch, Maguire's follow up to Wicked. The story was interesting and engaging. Though not a likable sort of fellow, I really felt sorry for Brrr. Change only one or two of his choices and his life would have been very different.
I can also see an improvement in Maguire's writing. The descriptions and characterizaton pulled me in more than some of his past books managed to do, and felt more like the Maguire that you first glimpsed in Wicked than the Maguire we sometimes get. If only for this line, "Yackle reached for something to throw, and all she could find was her other hand, which wouldn't detach," found on page two, this book was well worth the read. Bbased upon the way the book closed, I fully expect at least one more book in this series, and I look forward to it.