Out of Oz (Wicked Years Series #4)

Out of Oz (Wicked Years Series #4)

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by Gregory Maguire, John McDonough

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The stunning conclusion to the smash New York Times bestselling series the Wicked Years.

Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series became national bestsellers and the basis for a hit Tony-winning Broadway musical. Now, Maguire returns with the final installment in his transformative work, a thrilling and compulsively readable saga in which the fate of

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The stunning conclusion to the smash New York Times bestselling series the Wicked Years.

Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series became national bestsellers and the basis for a hit Tony-winning Broadway musical. Now, Maguire returns with the final installment in his transformative work, a thrilling and compulsively readable saga in which the fate of Oz is decided at last . . . 

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 amid 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 that began 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

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.)
Publishers Weekly - Audio
In the conclusion to Maguire’s Wicked Years series, Glinda is put under house arrest, the Emerald City prepares to invade Munchkinland, and Elphaba’s little granddaughter, Rain (not knowing her heritage and working as a lowly maid in Glinda’s house) is just beginning to discover her powers. Meanwhile, back in Kansas, Dorothy is considered eccentric for insisting she visited Oz, and her aunt and uncle take her on a trip to distract her—that is until she finds her way back to that faraway magical land. John McDonough—who has narrated all of the audiobooks in the series—offers up a nuanced performance that showcases a deep understanding of Maguire’s fantasy world and its inhabitants. He creates distinctive voices for each character and capably conveys the ironic spirit of the novel. And while listeners may find an adult male voicing the dialogue of a little girl somewhat jarring at first, McDonough performance is a natural, engaging one that makes the Land of Oz come to life. A Morrow hardcover. (Nov.)
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
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.”
“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

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Wicked Years Series, #4
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 2.60(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.

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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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