First, if you haven’t read Steve’s previous post, do that now for the context…
Ok, so I must say I’m in the “I like this book” camp. I did find it slow going at first, and it’s definitely not a light-hearted beach read for sure, but there’s a draw in its connection to Oz. And that’s what I’m here to discuss now.
Like most books set in fantastical lands, to enter a completely different world is a little discombobulating. It’s not just realizing and accepting that the characters are human or talking Animals, it’s feeling comfortable in the caveats that are this strange world. Which in this case happens to be Oz. But it ain’t your mother’s Oz, or no, this is an Oz in political turmoil and strife. So part of its appeal (or drawback) is the political thriller angle. And I love how this makes sense, being that (some speculate) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written by Baum as a political allegory. So we get our first tie with the original here.
Also, it’s great to read a story from an entirely different perspective. I mean, so yeah, if you only watch the movie the wicked witch seems pretty evil, but it’s cool to read about the reasons she did the things she did. How absurdly awesome is it that her sister doesn’t have any arms? Who comes up with this stuff? So I guess I’m fascinated with the story’s depth. We get glimpses, and realize there’s so much more than that to everything about Oz. We couldn’t possibly learn all about it from just one book (or one lost girl from Kansas), and that’s what makes it so realistic (in a fantasy sort of way), but also what makes it possibly have some loose ends. I say take those loose ends and throw them behind the curtain with the mysterious man. Wicked has to be one of the best back stories ever written about one of the most recognizable characters of all time.