Title: Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: William Morrow, Harper Collins
Genre: Literary Fiction
When Gregory Maguire started writing the Oz series, I am sure he must have known how big this would be and it turned out to be just that – one big success, rippling through with excitement and sardonic humour and tragedy in almost every volume. The last volume in the series, “Out of Oz” is as addictive as the rest. Gregory Maguire writes in a lyrical manner and that is what I love the most about his writing, besides his ability to infuse evil in Oz and the ability to scare you as well. The plot in this one is well-paced and very exciting. The war between Oz and Munchkinland is at its height and that is the core of the book.
In this book, we get to know Rain who is Liir’s daughter (this is not a spoiler). She is odd and wistful and I loved her character and how it shaped throughout the book. The other usual characters are present in the book – Glinda, Liir, Cowardly Lion and of course Dorothy, who is not making a cameo this time. Dorothy’s character has been extended and it is beyond belief what shape it takes towards the end and throughout. Some brilliant thinking from Mr. Maguire here.
Over the past three books, there has been a lot of build up to the characters and the setting and that’s why one can see and relate to this book and its track. With “Out of Oz” he brings all the characters (though briefly) to tie the story to its end. Dorothy is back after having killed Elphaba (Wicked) and as I mentioned her role is not limited in this book. The questions of home and loyalty are also well-tackled in this one.
The book is enjoyable even before the adventure begins and that’s the power of Gregory Maguire’s writing. It will but obviously make no sense to you till you read the other Wicked books. Not everyone gets a happy ending and not all are supposed to also. Loose ends are tied as expected (thank god for that) and also ones that the reader can infer on his/her own. For me I loved the conclusion. Gregory Maguire’s writing charmed me with this one even more so and I would recommend that you also read his stand alone works on his own take on fairy tales. A brilliant conclusion to a fantastic series.