Friday, November 25, 2011

A Lion Among Men: Volume Three in the Wicked Years

I'm a big nerd when it comes to taking known stories and playing with them.  I loved both the musical Wicked as well as the book that it was based on.  The way the story worked within the confines of the original was clever and intelligent.  Based on his other books this seemed to be Maguire's thing to do these twisted fairy tales.  I think I read somewhere that he never originally intended to create an Oz series himself, but that Wicked was the only book he thought he'd write.  Now there's a forth (which I plan to read soon), but it doesn't come as a shock that he never planned for this series...
Here's the thing... I don't think Maguire is as good of a writer as he is an idea's man.  He's got some really clever and smart stuff going on, but with the exception of a few portions of this book I found myself really just wanting him to get to the point.  The man goes on a lot of tangents, and some of then interesting, but some of them just feel like page filler.  The only really gripping parts of this book are when he's dealing with characters that have come before - the Lion's story itself, while good and heartbreaking in spots, just feels a bit 'meh' as a whole.  I think the character and how he's built him is interesting but the way it's told just has such little energy. 
If you loved the first two books in the series (I only liked the second) then you're probably going to (or already have) read this.  If you're not sure, I suggest starting with Wicked and going from there.  This is by no means essential reading, but you might like it anyway.  Not exactly a high recommend, but a moderate one.

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