A Lion among Men

A Lion among Men


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A Lion among Men by Gregory Maguire, Margaret Hilton, John McDonough

"Hardly more than a kitten . . . I had thought to call it Prrr, but it shivers more often than it purrs, so I call it Brrr instead."
—From Wicked

Since Wicked was first published in 1995, millions of readers have discovered Gregory Maguire's fantastically encyclopedic Oz, a world filled with characters both familiar and new, darkly conceived and daringly reimagined. In the much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion—the once tiny cub defended by Elphaba in Wicked.

While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, an enigmatic figure known as Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. As payment, Yackle, who hovered on the sidelines of Elphaba's life, demands some answers of her own.

Brrr surrenders his story to the ailing maunt: Abandoned as a cub, his earliest memories are gluey hazes, and his path from infancy in the Great Gillikin Forest is no Yellow Brick Road. Seeking to redress an early mistake, he trudges through a swamp of ghosts, becomes implicated in a massacre of trolls, and falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the war-mongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. What does the Lion know of the whereabouts of the Witch's boy, Liir? What can Yackle reveal about the auguries of the Clock of theTime Dragon? And what of the Grimmerie, the magic book that vanished as quickly as Elphaba? Is destiny ever arbitrary? Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets—cowardly, wicked, brainless, criminally earnest—to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

At once a portrait of a would-be survivor and a panoramic glimpse of a world gone shrill with war fever, Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781436154048
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 01/14/2002
Series: The Wicked Years Series

About the Author

Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. Wicked, now a beloved classic, is the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.


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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Lion Among Men (Wicked Years Series #3) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 298 reviews.
AvenueQ More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed the first two books in the Wicked series. This only added to my disappointment with this book. While the idea of hearing the untold story of the Cowardly Lion does sound intriguing, this book lacked much in the way of a continuing storyline. Outside of retrospection, this book did very little in the way of furthering the story in respect to the first two books. While I wouldn't say not to read the book, I will say to wait for the paperback or borrow it from a friend as it was not worth the $20. In all due respect to Mr.Maguire, I think this book seemed more like a paycheck than a story. While I would love to see how things turn out for Brrr, Nor, Candle, and Liir, I would not want to spend over 300 pages to advance one day in the overall story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Wicked and Son of a Witch, but this seemed to drag on and got to the point that I made myself read it and finish the book so I could get started on the 4th book.
Bwitchd3 More than 1 year ago
This book fills in some of the holes left by the first two books. Secrets are revealed, stories are told, and futures are made. Brrr is an interesting character that both cares and doesn’t care. He wants nothing to do with society, but can’t seem to stay away from it. All he wants is love and a home, and by the end of this book he finds it in the strangest of places. Yackle has been a mysterious character throughout this series, and her story is finally told, albeit reluctantly. You won’t be able to wait for the last book!
alicelouise More than 1 year ago
without "Wicked" or "Son of a Witch". I was intrigued by the Cowardly Lion and maybe a counter novel to L. Frank Baum's Oz novel of the Cowardly Lion. It was not to be. The characterization of Brr was great. In the lines of dialogue you could almost hear Bert Lahr's voice for Brr. You find out that he is not so craven as much as he is a pragmatist. In times of great upheaval Brr lands on his feet. He may not land in a glorious manner; mind you. He might only gain a laughable title. He does land and not get driven out or swept away like the other Animals. The other characters were dropped too quickly and were swept away. I wanted more of Cubbins and Jemmsy. It may have been done by design. I hope the 4th book draws from the Baum novel that features TikTok, Pumpkinhead, and Mombi. The timeline goes back and forth from past to present without warning. Those who enjoy characterization will enjoy this novel(as with Son of a Witch). If you want a coherent plot, you may be in for frustration and disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More answers are revealed in this book of the series. Although this was not my favorite book in the series, it seemed more interspective of all the books. The Lion tried to figure out just where his loyalties belonged and where he came from, Yackle, too, tried to remember her beginning, and everybody tried to figure out where the boy, Liir, had wound up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all the books that gregory maguire writes but this one in particular i did not like. It was slow and hard to get into. I found it hard to follow as well. I kept reading to the end though, whether it wa my desire to find mething interesting or my drive to get it done amd over with, unfortunately i didnt fimd anything that parrticularly sparked my imaginaton except for maybe the part near the end with that twist about the cat and thebold lady whom i have plum forgotten her name. Maybe it was too political or too militaristic that made me not understand, whatever the case this was still my least fsvorite in the whole series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Despite my reading it right after finishing the first two volumes of the Wicked Years series it took me a while to get into this volume because the Lion's character seemed so amorphous. In the end however I found it very satisfying precisely because his character was so complex and not predictable. All the characters, in fact, are flawed--rather seriously at times--and that seems to be the heart of what Maguire is doing in the series. Their faults are distressing at times but allowed me to relate and develop sympathy for them. Although religious faith and doubt (or faith of some kind) plays an important role in the series, the author allows for all possibilities in how his characters approach or reject it and this volume in particular integrates that theme with the psychology of the characters' self-doubts and frustrations. As with the rest of the series, clever references to the original Oz series by Baum and to the 1939 movie sweeten the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed reading Gregory Maguire's Wicked and Son of a Witch, then you'll definitely love this book as well. The book tells the story of Oz once more, but this time through the eyes of the "cowardly Lion", Brrr. You go on his journey with him and, just like in Wicked, see how a title, and a perception of someone or, in his case, an Animal, doesn't really justify the way you think of them, considering you don't know their story and how they became the way that they are. Gregory Maguire did a wonderful job writting this novel, as he did with his others. The style of writting is superb, in the sense that he tells you just enough to get you to figure things out on your own and make your own interpretations concerning the story. It allows you to think and use your mind, which most books lack now a days. If you enjoyed any of his other books, then you'll love this one as well. Older readers will understand the novel more and fully grasp what is being conveyed, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to younger readers, as they may get confused throughout the story.
Quan-Kun More than 1 year ago
I initially was going to rate this book 3 stars, but the last few chapters definitely made this a 4 star read. There were moments where I grew weary of the Lion, but such is his character. There is meaning & hidden purpose in this book, and the characters of focus are a perfect match. The biggest plus for this installation into the wicked series is this: There IS closure! Some of the lingering questions from both "Wicked" as well as "Son of a Witch" are finally answered! This alone makes the book worth reading. The rest, is simply a bonus. I for one, am glad I gave it a chance, and I think lovers of the wicked series should as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved how this book kept OZ and its people alive!
sugarpy18 More than 1 year ago
If you read and liked Wicked and Son of the Witch, then you will definitely like this book. Just like the first two books, A Lion Among Men is sharply written, with interesting characters and a gripping plot. Not only do we find out the life story of the Lion who helped Dorothy kill the Wicked Witch, but we furthermore learn the story of Oz, the Witch, her son and other characters involved in their lives. Gregory Maguire's writing style is addictive, it was hard for me to put the book down.
anniebngreg More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this, although I wasn't as smitten as with WICKED, nor with SON of a WITCH. The prose is still wondrous and the imaginations of Mr Maguire are rich and full. I'm looking forward to the 4th in the Series, although not with as much eagerness as I sought #3. It's good to connect and read all three in the series in order, and I'm glad I did. It's just not as fine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good and interesting for the overall storyline, but in itself it had a lot of slow parts. It was a good story of the life of the Cowardly Lion but again was too dragged out.
WilV More than 1 year ago
Another great work from the wicked years. The character of Brr (cowardly Lion) was moving and his story compelling. The story follows this lonely misunderstood creature as he learns some of life's harder lessons and attempts to find his place in the world.
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TeenageCthulhu14 More than 1 year ago
This book was... not as good as Wicked. I was not fond of Son of a Witch, since I really do not enjoy Liir. The only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is because it resolved something at the end that I was wondering about (I won't say what it is in case someone who hasn't read this yet comes through to read reviews). You don't really need to read this one to read Out of Oz, though, unless you want only a tad more to know what's going on. But you don't necessarily HAVE to read this one. 
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