23 January 2012

A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire


A Lion Among Men is the third book in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years, a re-imagining of the land of Oz first illuminated by L. Frank Baum.  Picking up the story - sort of - where Son of a Witch left off, Lion tells the story of - who else? - the Cowardly Lion, named Brrr by Maguire.
Like Son of a Witch and Wicked before it, I found myself immersed in the story - the world and the characters are compelling, thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable - and yet, this being the third book in the series, I have learned to be somewhat reserved.  Maguire enjoys setting up mysteries and teasing the reader - and I have no problem with that - but the answers are often frustratingly unforthcoming.  Not only that, but it seems with each new book I have to say goodbye to characters I had come to know and meet new ones, only to have those taken away at the end of the story as well.
Perhaps I’m simply expecting the books to be something they’re not; perhaps my mind simply wants the Wicked Years to be more like The Wheel of Time, where characters come and go but always come back again.
I also found Lion somewhat muddier as regards to what the author wanted us to take away from the book, even more-so than Son of a Witch.  I enjoyed the book, and it certainly got me thinking, but unlike Wicked I didn’t come away feeling that my perspectives had truly been challenged or changed.
All that said, I still enjoyed the book, and I look forward to Out of Oz, the next book in the Wicked Years.

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Books: Reading Believer, Beware, a collection of essays on religion.

Bottles: Oh my, enjoyed two nice bottles in Orlando: Naia 2006 and Bodegas Leda Vina Veijas 2003.

Writing: Toying around with some fun short stories.

Guitar: Been travelling a lot, so the guitar is in the shop for a new tremolo bridge.