A Lion Among Men: Volume Three in The Wicked Years (Google eBook)

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HarperCollins, Oct 6, 2009 - Fiction - 336 pages
68 Reviews

"Hardly more than a kitten . . . I had thought to call it Prrr, but it shivers more often than it purrs, so I call it Brrr instead."
—From Wicked

Since Wicked was first published in 1995, millions of readers have discovered Gregory Maguire's fantastically encyclopedic Oz, a world filled with characters both familiar and new, darkly conceived and daringly reimagined. In the much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion—the once tiny cub defended by Elphaba in Wicked.

While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, an enigmatic figure known as Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. As payment, Yackle, who hovered on the sidelines of Elphaba's life, demands some answers of her own.

Brrr surrenders his story to the ailing maunt: Abandoned as a cub, his earliest memories are gluey hazes, and his path from infancy in the Great Gillikin Forest is no Yellow Brick Road. Seeking to redress an early mistake, he trudges through a swamp of ghosts, becomes implicated in a massacre of trolls, and falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the war-mongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. What does the Lion know of the whereabouts of the Witch's boy, Liir? What can Yackle reveal about the auguries of the Clock of the Time Dragon? And what of the Grimmerie, the magic book that vanished as quickly as Elphaba? Is destiny ever arbitrary? Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets—cowardly, wicked, brainless, criminally earnest—to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

At once a portrait of a would-be survivor and a panoramic glimpse of a world gone shrill with war fever, Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics.

  

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Love the poignant ending. - Goodreads
Maguire's prose is itself often magical. - Goodreads
The ending left room for more books. - Goodreads
Maguire's writing pushes me. - Goodreads
Maguire left a lot of loose plot threads. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jami_Leigh - LibraryThing

Plot: 3 stars Characters: 3 stars Style: 3 stars Pace: 2 stars There comes a point in every series where it feels like the author's just putting out a book to link other books in the series together ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - liveshipvivacia - LibraryThing

This was much better than Son of a Witch. It flowed very nicely, hooking the reader, and perhaps because the main character this time was a Lion, it contained little of the vulgarity of the previous ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Gregory Maguire is the author of several best-selling adult novels, including Wicked, which was turned into a Broadway musical. His books for younger readers include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the popular Hamlet Chronicles series. While writing Leaping Beauty, Mr. Maguire sadly became allergic to all creatures great and small. Now he lives in a house without pets, though he is the father of three happy, noisy small children to whom, at this writing, he has not yet developed allergies.

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