So, just in case you haven’t read Wicked yet, there might be some slight spoilers here since it’s book #2 in The Wicked Years series.
Liir is found barely alive and taken to the Cloister of Saint Glinda, where he is slowly brought back from the brink of death by a young quiet girl named Candle. As he’s healing, we learn how Liir came to be so badly hurt – what he’s been doing in the ten years since Elphaba’s death. He’s set out to do and learn so much – help Princess Nastoya, find out who his parents were, find Nor, save Oz from what’s been terrorizing the countryside (and what hurt Liir so badly)… will he succeed?
Soooo… Obviously, Wicked is way better. But I don’t think I agree with all of the people who say that this wasn’t good – it was just a lot different. I think the main problem with this book is that it was a little too disjointed – partly because Liir himself is pretty indecisive and careless for most of the book.
Liir shares a lot of Elphaba’s qualities – he’s upset with the corruption in Oz, but pessimistic, he sets out to do good things but somehow it never pans out quite the way he thinks, he’s private but longs for some sort of human bond. Liir wasn’t an easy character to like – he actually did some things that to me were way more wicked than anything Elphie ever did. But overall, this was a story about a young boy with no concrete background trying to find himself and figure out what kind of person he wanted to be and I think that by the end of the novel this was accomplished.
The only real issue I have with the story in general is like I said, it’s disjointed. It just doesn’t flow as well as Wicked did – Liir’s goals change and jump with each chapter and therefore, certain storylines never really get resolved. Luckily, there’s a third book out (A Lion Among Men) and a fourth on the way (Out of Oz), so I’m thinking that I’ll find more answers there.
Oh, and here’s some spoiler-y stuff about things near the end, so highlight to read if you want:
1. I didn’t mind Liir’s romantic attachments to Candle or Trism, but I wish there had been more of a lead-up to him and Trism getting it on. I had to double-back to make sure I had read it right, cause that seemed to come out of no where.
2. LOL another similarity between Elphie & Liir – neither one of them realizes that they are parents. Elphie was in shock and never remembered giving birth to Liir, and apparently Candle sexed up Liir while he was practically comatose, so he wasn’t sure if her pregnancy was his doing. I guess the green skin confirms it though, no? I can’t wait to see her grow up…
Overall, an enjoyable read and a welcome addition to The Wicked Years. I’m really, really looking forward to reading the other books. I wish that Maguire would publish a short novella that would show us more about Elphie & Fiyero’s relationship… I miss them.
Sarah Says: 3 stars and can’t wait to read A Lion Among Men!