Out of Oz (Wicked Years Series #4)

( 109 )

Overview

Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who's knocking at the door. It's none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.

Yet amidst all this chaos, Elphaba's granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is ...

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Overview

Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who's knocking at the door. It's none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.

Yet amidst all this chaos, Elphaba's granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is up to Rain to take up her broom—and her legacy—in an Oz wracked by war.

The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises—the hallmarks of the unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This fourth volume of Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years completes a series begun with 1995's Wicked. In Out of Oz, war is stirring in the Emerald City. Munchkinland has seceded and the Ozian army has mobilized to restore the union. Meanwhile, Glinda is under house arrest and General Cherrystone has become interested in Glinda's broom girl Rain. What he doesn't know is that Rain is no mere servant: As Elphaba's granddaughter, she uniquely possesses the ability to read the powerful Grimmerie. This full-throttle conclusion to this popular series confirms anew that we're not in Kansas anymore.

Elizabeth Hand
With Out of Oz…Gregory Maguire concludes the "Wicked Years," one of the most audacious and successful fantasy series of the past few decades…No summary could do justice to Maguire's novel, which is hilarious, heart-wrenching and extremely poignant in its ending. Readers familiar with Baum's books will delight in how Maguire rings the changes upon them. Others might never be able to hear "Over the Rainbow" again without wincing. The greatest fantasy series make one want to read them again. That's what I intend to do with this one.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The final volume of Maguire’s Wicked Years series finds Oz torn by war, and Shell Thropp, Elphaba’s brother, as emperor. Munchkinland has seceded, and the Emerald City invades with the Ozian army to get it back. Glinda, former Throne Minister, is held under house arrest by General Cherrystone, who takes an interest in Rain, Glinda’s broom girl, teaching her to read. He doesn’t know that Rain is actually Liir’s daughter and Elphaba’s granddaughter, and the only one who can understand the infamous Grimmerie, supposedly a volume of magical lore, coveted by Oz. A troupe of traveling players arrive and secretly give the Grimmerie to Glinda, who distracts the soldiers long enough to send Rain off with Brrr (aka the Cowardly Lion). So begins a quest for Rain to discover her true identity and unravel the layers of political and personal secrets that have caused strife and division in Oz. Maguire’s take on the trouble-prone Dorothy Gale is refreshing, and his Oz far darker, sadder, harsher, more complex, and convoluted than Baum’s (which will make this hard to follow for readers unfamiliar with the series). The language and imagery are rich, and the sense of love, loss, and regret palpable. For fans, this will be a revealing and satisfying end to the layered tale begun in Wicked. (Nov.)
Washington Post
“[A] masterwork…. Concludes…one of the most audacious and successful fantasy series of the past few decades…. Hilarious, heart-wrenching and extremely poignant…. The greatest fantasy series make one want to read them again. That’s what I intend to do with this one.”
USA Today
“In four books, Maguire has expanded the mythology of Oz from L. Frank Baum’s books and created a land that’s just as rich as Middle-earth or Narnia, and balances the serious with the sublime. . . . Out of Oz is a satisfying finish to the Wicked Years saga.”
Wichita Eagle
“Maguire has crafted a complex, detailed Oz...; populated it with a wide range of characters and histories; created complex, layered plots; and dropped in some magic to bring it all together. His Oz envelops a reader in a feast for the senses and for the mind.”
Newsday
“Maguire creates a world we can bear, just around the corner. He does this . . . with delicious writing; a tapestry of sentences so carefully imagined they brush over your skin as you read.”
People Magazine
“[A] sassy reimagining of Baum’s world. . . . Maguire’s canvas is incredibly rich. . . . This last installment is one to savor.”
Christian Science Monitor
“(A) satisfying finale to Maguire’s series.”
Bookreporter.com
“[OUT OF OZ] will delight Maguire’s legions of fans, but will surely seduce a whole new world of readers, who can start at the end and go backwards in time to WICKED to understand the breadth and amazing imaginative landscape of his remarkable work.”
New York Times
#9 New York Times Bestseller
Booklist
“A worthy conclusion to an imaginative and emotionally searing cultural phenomenon. . . . nobody does fractured fairy tales better than Maguire.”
People magazine (4 stars)
“[A] sassy reimagining of Baum’s world. . . . Maguire’s canvas is incredibly rich. . . . This last installment is one to savor.”
Library Journal
In the midst of Oz's civil war, Rain, granddaughter of the infamous Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West, is coming of age with a ramshackle band of friends. Adding to the chaos, Dorothy is back, destructive and irritatingly chipper as always, and events spiral into an ever-expanding web of betrayals, friendships, secrets, and unexpected returns. Maguire excels at creating multidimensional characters that rise above their many flaws. Readers will delight in the lyrical writing and many thinly veiled references to other Ozian works (Wicked, the Broadway musical; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) found throughout this gritty conclusion to Maguire's popular "Wicked Years" series (Wicked; Son of a Witch; A Lion Among Men). The provided map, summaries of previous books, and family trees and time lines prove helpful in recalling characters and situations introduced earlier in the series. VERDICT This engrossing, complex novel continues to flip the world of Oz on its head while answering new and old questions about Oz and its denizens. Highly recommended for fans of the series. [Six-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 5/16/11.]—Katie Lawrence, Chicago
Kirkus Reviews
Maguire, reimaginer of Oz, completes his series The Wicked Years, which bowed in with the exuberantly zeitgeisty Wicked (1995), with this pensive but action-filled capstone. The truest gauge of whether a fantasy series is any good, apart from the ordinary tests of writing and storytelling, is whether the world the writer imagines is complete--and whether it's interesting enough for a reader to be bothered to go there. In the made-up–world department, Maguire is a signal success, and a captivating storyteller to boot. This concluding volume finds Dorothy Gale back in Kansas--for a time, anyway, for 16-year-old Dorothy isn't so keen on following Aunt Em's dictum, "We aren't going to live forever, and you must learn to manage in the real world." Better flying monkeys than Topeka, one supposes. Up in Oz (or down, or sideways; the directions to the place are provisional, depending on which path the twister takes), the lines of genealogy and elective affinity alike are beginning to tauten as it's revealed just whose blood the Emperor shares. Some of his kin, however, are hanging out with Glinda and her kind. Even after fate has made done with the unpleasant witchy-poos of east and west, things aren't all skittles and beer up in the Emerald City. Indeed, as one short fellow remarks, "The Munchkinlanders discovered that liberation from sniffy Nessarose didn't provoke them into wanting a return to domination by the EC. Can you blame them?" Can you indeed? While the Lollipop Guild is busy transforming itself into a cadre of freedom fighters, the rest of the Emerald City girds up for war within and war without, for there's nothing that the Emperor likes more than a good dust-up. All is chaos, swerve and swirl: the once cowardly lion now has moments where he sounds like Sean Connery, people fire up cigarettes and mount grim battles of resistance and Maguire pays subtle homage to Tolkien and Rowling and even Frank Baum while having a grand old time in the fantastically complicated world he has crafted. Is a neat ending possible? Not likely. There's even room in this deliciously fun novel for a trap-door sequel. Stay tuned.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060859732
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Series: Wicked Years Series , #4
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 48,006
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is the author of several best-selling adult novels, including Wicked, which was turned into a Broadway musical. His books for younger readers include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the popular Hamlet Chronicles series. While writing Leaping Beauty, Mr. Maguire sadly became allergic to all creatures great and small. Now he lives in a house without pets, though he is the father of three happy, noisy small children to whom, at this writing, he has not yet developed allergies.

Biography

Raised in a family of writers (his father was a journalist and his stepmother a poet), Gregory Maguire grew up with a great love of books, especially fairy tales and fantasy fiction. He composed his own stories from an early age and released his first book for children, The Lightning Time, in 1978, just two years after graduating from the State University of New York at Albany.

Several other children's book followed, but major recognition eluded Maguire. Then, in 1995, he published his first adult novel. A bold, revisionist view of Frank L. Baum's classic Oz stories, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West places one of literature's most reviled characters at the center of a dark dystopian fantasy and raises provocative questions about the very nature of good and evil. Purists criticized Maguire for tampering with a beloved juvenile classic, but the book received generally good reviews (John Updike, writing in The New Yorker, proclaimed it "an amazing novel.") and the enthusiasm of readers catapulted it to the top of the bestseller charts. (Maguire's currency increased even further when the book was turned into the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Wicked in 2003.)

In the wake of his breakthrough novel, Maguire has made something of a specialty out of turning classic children's tales on their heads. He retold the legends of Cinderella and Snow White in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999) and Mirror, Mirror (2003); he raised the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge in Lost (2001); and, in 2005, he returned to Oz for Son of a Witch, the long-awaited sequel to Wicked. He has reviewed fantasy fiction for the Sunday New York Times Book Review and has contributed his own articles, essays, and stories to publications like Ploughshares, The Boston Review, the Christian Science Monitor, and The Horn Book Magazine.

In addition, Maguire has never lost his interest in -- or enthusiasm for -- children's literature. He is the author of The Hamlet Chronicles, a bestselling seven-book series of high-camp mystery-adventures with silly count-down titles like Seven Spiders Spinning and Three Rotten Eggs. He has taught at the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and is a founding member of Children's Literature New England (CLNE), a nonprofit organization that focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children.

Good To Know

In our interview, Maguire shared some fun facts with us about his life:

"While I pride myself on trying to be creative in all areas of my life, I have occasionally gone overboard, like the time I decided to bring to a party a salad that I constructed, on a huge rattan platter, to look like a miniature scale model of the Gardens of Babylon. I built terraces with chunks of Monterey jack, had a forest of broccoli florets and a lagoon of Seven Seas salad dressing spooned into a half a honeydew melon. I made reed patches out of scallion tips and walkways out of sesame seeds lined with raisin borders. Driving to the party, I had to brake to avoid a taxi, and by the time the police flagged me down for poor driving skills I was nearly weeping. ‘But Officer, I have a quickly decomposing Hanging Gardens of Babylon to deliver....' Everything had slopped and fallen over and it looked like a tray of vegetable garbage."

"My first job was scooping ice cream at Friendly's in Albany, New York. I hated the work, most of my colleagues, and the uniform, and I more or less lost my taste for ice cream permanently."

"If I hadn't been a writer, I would have tried to be one of the following: An artist (watercolors), a singer/songwriter like Paul Simon (taller but not very much more), an architect (domestic), a teacher. Actually, in one way or another I have done all of the above, but learned pretty quickly that my skills needed more honing for me to charge for my services, and I'd always rather write fiction than hone skills."

"I steal a bit from one of my favorite writers to say, simply, that I enjoy, most of all, old friends and new places. I love to travel. Having small children at home now impedes my efforts a great deal, but I have managed in my time to get to Asia, Africa, most of Europe, and Central America. My wish list of places not yet visited includes India, Denmark, Brazil, and New Zealand, and my wish for friends not yet made includes, in a sense, readers who are about to discover my work, either now or even when I'm no longer among the living. In a sense, in anticipation, I value those friends in a special way."

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    1. Hometown:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 9, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Albany, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., SUNY at Albany, 1976; M.A., Simmons College, 1978; Ph.D., Tufts University, 1990
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Out of Oz

The Final Volume in the Wicked Years
By Gregory Maguire

William Morrow

Copyright © 2011 Gregory Maguire
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060548940


Chapter One

One of her earliest memories. Maybe her first, it was hard to tell, time
was unstable then. Swimming through grass that came up as high as
her underarms. Or it may have been new grain not yet roughened by summer.
Late spring, probably. Her chin stroked by paintbrush tips of green.
Sunk in the world, unable to feel anything but the magic of it. Unable
to take part.
The field was as wide as the sky, while she was so low that she couldn't
see over horizons of any sort. At a small clearing where (she later realized) a
farmer's cart or plow might turn around, she came upon the skin of a mouse
in the cropped and daisied grass.
The mouse pelt was still soft and almost warm. Supple, not leathery. As
if some snake or owl had caught the creature and eaten it through a seam,
blood and bones and little liver and all, but had tossed aside, nearly in one
piece, the furry husk.
She had picked it up and dressed her forefinger with it, becoming Mouse.
Quickening into Mouse. It had made her feel foreign to herself, and real.
Realer. Then the feeling overwhelmed her and with a cry she shuddered the
Mouse-shuck off her, away.
It disappeared into the grain. Immediately she loathed herself for
cowardice and the loss of a magic thing, and she hunted for it until the memory
had hardened into a notion of stupidity and regret.
She kept the memory and suffered the longing but never again was so
real a Mouse, not for her whole life.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire Copyright © 2011 by Gregory Maguire. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    I am a fan of this series and wasn't disappointed with the fourth book. Great read!

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a great finish to a strong saga

    Oz Emperor Shell Thropp, brother to the late Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba, sends his Oz army to put down the rebellious break away in Munchkinland. To insure no bewitching interference, General Cherrystone arrests former Throne Minister Glinda. However, while he keeps Glinda incarcerated in her house, the General finds the good witch's broom girl Rain fascinating and begins to teach the child to read. He fails to recognize that his student is the granddaughter of Elphaba and the only person breathing who can comprehend the Grimmerie magical lore tome.

    A performing troupe gives the Grimmerie to Glinda for safekeeping. She has her friend Brrr the Cowardly Lion escort Rain on an identity quest. However, Glinda remains concerned over the well-being of the people of Oz as Dorothy of Kansas is back and everyone knows the singing and dancing Cornhusker irritant is a trouble magnet.

    The final "Wicked Years" Oz fantasy (see Wicked, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men) is a great finish to a strong saga as spin maestro Gregory Maguire deftly twists L. Frank Baum's classic novels in brilliant unexpected but logical extrapolations. The story line is fast-paced, but it is the deep look at the cast that makes the tale work; for instance everyone knows ultra optimist Dorothy is a plague with every rosy colored step she takes disaster walks with her. Readers will relish this saga as Mr. Maguire exposes the rest of the story.

    Harriet Klausner

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Very excited for this to come out!

    I have read Wicked & Son of a Witch recently and I absolutely loves them! A few days ago I got Lion Among Men, which I am very excited to start reading. I am sure that I will thoroughly enjoy the 3rd book, and this one.

    5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Fitting end to the series but...

    I enjoyed this installment but the ending of this book felt a little rushed. I recommend the series to everyone, though.

    I hope the teaser in this book means that this reallty isn't the end of our journey through Oz. C'mon, Gregory! Surely there are some Oz character backstories in you. How about a set of prequels taking place before the Wizard's reign?

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    Always lovely to go over the rainbow to Maguire's Oz

    Maguire has written his best book since Wicked! Reading Out of Oz is like revisiting old friends and catching up on all the news. Glinda, Liir, Brrr, Candle, the maunts, dragons and soldiers--all are here and as wonderful and distinct as we remember them. It was sheer pleasure travelling with these characters through Oz, even though Oz is changed--in the middle of a civil war and near-martial law. If you loved Wicked, Out of Oz will not disappoint.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    I Can't Wait!!!

    I LOVED Wicked. Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men were both good, but in some parts it dragged a little.

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    LOVE THIS SERIES

    I have read all three books so far and cant wait for this one to come out. I was so dissapointed that i have to wait. I love how the author has taken a story you thought you knew and given it more life. Cant wait!

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Good, but dense.

    A nice way to end the series after a horrible 3rd book. Text is dense and sometimes hard to follow, but gives the fans what they've been wanting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    LOVED, LOVED Wicked!! I read all of the series and was excited

    LOVED, LOVED Wicked!! I read all of the series and was excited to read the end. Very disappointing. Story dragged, and the new characters didn't come to life as in the other books. Good ending, but the book really could have been written about 150 pages rather than 500. In my opinion, it was a waste of my money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    Not for Nook

    Unless you have a more sophisticated Nook, you should get this as a book that has at least one map so that you can mark the journey. I love this series, but I had a hard time keeping straight where they were.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    2.5 Stars

    I read this because of the first of Maguire's, Wicked series. The first novel of the series was outstanding. This was due to the many strong characters as reimagined by Gregory Maguire.
    None of them, only Glinda and Brr, are in this novel. I was unable to care about the newer characters or to be interested in the plot. This is despite having read L Frank Baum's original Oz book.

    This book is not a stand alone. It helps to read the first three books before this one.

    As for the ending, it was more of a ...meh.

    Gregory Maguird's Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and Mirror Mirror are his top 3 works imho.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Hope there is another!

    Loved the mix of characters I just hope Rain has a story that continues!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Perfect Final book

    I love this book it really finishes out the WICKED YEARS series perfectly. Maguire ties up many loose ends and fills in the blanks from the the previous books masterfully. Finally we know what became of Liir, Candle, the Loin, Nanny, Nor, even Miss Gale herself makes a grand appearance. I highly recommend this book, but only after you have invested the time in the other three previous to it otherwise you will be very lost. I am sad the story is over to tell you the truth..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Fantastic Series!!!

    When I finished Out of Oz, I was disappointed that the fantasy had ended. I have so much admiration for Gregory Maguire's keen mind and imagination! I loved the detail in development, whether it be character, situational or environment. This is a series that I will read more than once.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Good ending

    Enjoyed reading this and vlosing the story out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    A little disappointed...

    Can't say that I loved this book as much as I ADORED the original, but it was acceptable. Without giving away too much, I was disappointed with the ending, it WENT NOWHERE. I finished the book quickly, anticipating so much more. A re-read may be in order.

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  • Posted June 23, 2013

    More than highly recommended!

    I love this series--this book--the stage production of "Wicked"--the characters, the story(ies), Gregory Maguire's brilliance...I haven't finished Out of Oz yet (book #4/final in series), so I remain optimistic about what is to come. I love that Lion, (Ilia)Nor, and Rain develop a family connection...READ THE BOOK. READ THE SERIES, and be sure to understand beforehand that the story gets "darker" as you move deeper into the bigger story (much like the Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter series). Altogether, these collections could teach as well as entertain, if only we would let them.

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    Great conclusion to the series

    This was a great conclusion to the Wicked series. Wrapped up a lot of loose ends from the other books.

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  • Posted February 18, 2013

    not as good as the first 2 in the sires but better than the 3rd

    not as good as the first 2 in the sires but better than the 3rd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    great ending to the series

    great ending to the series

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