Whew! I’m so glad this book was good. Wicked is one of my favorite books, so when Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister sucked, I worried that Maguire was a one-hit wonder.
It is my distinct pleasure to announce that he is at least a two-hitter.
I’m not going to lie, I read this book several weeks ago, so I kind of can’t remember much about it. It begins with a wagon train discovering the near-dead body of young Liir, son of a witch. They cart him off to the local mauntery (a great word, meaning ‘nunnery’ but evoking ‘haunt’), where a novice maunt is conscripted to tend him back to health. She plays her domingon (fictional instrument) for him, guiding him through his memories. We are privy to both those memories and to the events that pass while Liir is comatose. When he *spoiler!* comes to, he and the novice set out to answer some questions about his mysterious upbringing.
Maguire is nothing less than brilliant in his recasting of Frank L. Baum’s land of Oz. From the vain, petulant Dorothy to the loyal, intelligent Chistery, head of the flying monkeys, Maguire has managed to shed a completely different light on old, treasured characters and I, for one, don’t mind a bit. This book is charming and interesting from cover to cover.