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Out of Oz (Wicked Years Series #4)

Out of Oz (Wicked Years Series #4)

4.0 120
by Gregory Maguire

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

People magazine (4 stars)
“[A] sassy reimagining of Baum’s world. . . . Maguire’s canvas is incredibly rich. . . . This last installment is one to savor.”
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.)
“A worthy conclusion to an imaginative and emotionally searing cultural phenomenon. . . . nobody does fractured fairy tales better than Maguire.”
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.”
“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.”
“[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
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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Wicked Years Series , #4
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

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.


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.

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

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Out of Oz 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
vickytren More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of this series and wasn't disappointed with the fourth book. Great read!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the mix of characters I just hope Rain has a story that continues!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeenageCthulhu14 More than 1 year ago
Not as bad as 2 or 3 I was not of fan of the 2nd and 3rd books in the Wicked Years, and I was hoping for a moderately decent sendoff for Maguire's version of Oz.  Let's just say that I got what I wanted. It was better than I thought it would be, and I was pleased. It's a little slow in a few places, but overall it's pretty good. But I will say that some of it was pretty creepy. But it was still good. Rain reminds me a bit of her grandmother, Elphaba Thropp. Not only in appearance, but the animal (and Animal) loving person that she is. She had a similar history to her grandma (spending time in Quadling Country for example. She is a much better character than her father (who is very irritating to me). It is not as terrific as Wicked, but it's still good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good end to the series
customer2 More than 1 year ago
This book is just as boring as the previous books would not recommend. As a matter of fact the whole series sucks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has rhis dude read the whole REAL series? Of course ozma is ruler in the end. The aurhor is a ding dong...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
This book took me on a ride, that's for sure. The reason for the 3 star rating (which is low for me) is the fact that the book itself seemed to drag through long stretches of it. I would find myself enthralled with a part of the book, only to be disappointed with a sense of too much detail, or a storyline that didn't seem to make sense. I do have to say that more made sense when I finally reached the end and I'm not entirely sure if it could have been told better or not. I also felt a sense of disappointment at the end, of questions left unanswered and a sort of let down at the paths the characters chose to take. I wish we'd learned more of what transpired with Rain and Tip after it all. I wish we'd learned who visited Glinda though I think we can call make a pretty good guess, it would have been nice to have confirmation. I'd like to have known if Ozma ever took over the ruling of Oz and if Dorothy made it home alright. All that being said, I did end up enjoying the book far more than I thought I would at the onset.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago