Ten years after the publication of Gregory Maguire's first adult novel, Wicked--a wildly successful account of the Wicked Witch of the West that served as the basis for a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical--the long-awaited sequel is finally here. Son of a Witch stars Liir, the mysterious adolescent boy who saw Dorothy kill the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp. As the novel begins, Liir (who may or may not be Elphaba's son) is found near death. Taken in by attendants at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, Liir is nursed back to consciousness by an enigmatic foundling girl named Candle, who soothes him with music. When Liir awakens, he is coerced to help the residents of Oz save themselves from an egomaniacal emperor. Although the storyline seems whimsical, the novel's dominant themes are anything but. Just like the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, Liir is desperately searching for clues to tell him who he is. But are physical characteristics really important when compared to what's in one's heart?
Fans of fantastical fiction, as well as aficionados of L. Frank Baum's classic Oz saga, will undoubtedly send Maguire's darkly enchanting and profoundly moving sequel straight to the bestseller lists. Ruby red slippers and flying monkeys not included.