Second post of the day. Finally we are on the last book. If you want to simply skip these and go right into the full series review, feel free to.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire
Synopsis From The Book
Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.
Yet amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is up to Rain to take up her broom – and her legacy – in an Oz wracked by war.
The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the best-selling series that began with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises – the hallmarks of the unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
Hazzah! This is my last book for NEWTs and it’s my last book to read for the month (probably the last one I will get done this month). It’s the last book in The Wicked Years. This is the last for so many things and I am dying to read it. I am so excited in so many ways to finish this book. I only hope it can live up to my expectations (it probably will). I know that Brrr, Liir, and Rain are focal points for this story and any story that has Liir back, has my heart.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
And we are done with this series! I still have to do the whole theme post for Wicked as well as the general series review for this series, but I am done! In some ways I liked this book more than Liir’s, in others I did not. I did rate this high and that is saying something, I would say. I will probably come back to this series many a year from now and have a whole new experience with it and I wait for that day, the day that I am changed once more from it.
It’ll be a good day.
For now, I am here and changed in this time. And that’s okay.
The prologue takes place with Dorothy six years after the tornado. She is in San Francisco, when the earthquake of 1906 strikes.
In Oz, Rain is eight years old and working in Glinda’s house. She never really got a childhood or remembers much of being a babe. Glinda is placed under house arrest and most of her staff is forced away. Rain remains and begins to learn to read. Glinda runs into Brrr and Nor, who are with the Clock of the Time Dragon and give her back the Grimmerie. She holds on to it for some time but her staff keeps getting dismissed, and she is quarantined. After getting rid of her house arrest officer, Glinda gives the Grimmerie back to Brrr and tells Rain to go with them. She does.
Rain travels with Brrr, Nor, Mr. Boss (who is the dwarf in charge of the Clock of the Time Dragon), and later Mr. Boss’ wife. They are unsure of where to go and Yackle’s image in the Grimmerie tells them what to do. They travel south and end up in Quadling country for a long while (years? A year?). The Clock of the Time Dragon breaks, and they run into Brrr’s first love who helps escort them to Liir.
Liir and Candle welcome them, but Rain rejects them as her parents. Liir and Nor talk for the first time since they were separated. Liir reveals that he got a snake charmer to get Rain’s skin to a normal color, and hid her away from him to protect her. Rain rejects them as her parents and they get news that Shell is truly rounding up all magic and the war is at a stand still. Dorothy has returned and is to have a trial. (It is important to note that at this point Shell has named himself divine, so he’s a god and Emperor now). The Clock of the Time Dragon is lost to a lake. Brrr, Mr.Boss, and Mr. Boss’s wife Little Daffy decide to go to Munchkinland. Candle and Liir are going to hide deeper in the Vinkus lands with Nor and Rain.
Brrr, Mr.Boss, and Daffy travel to Munchkinland to witness Dorothy’s trial. It’s a big sham, because it’s mostly a political move for politics and independent Munchkinland. Nessarose is now a national hero and Dorothy is found guilty (sentenced to death). The three save Dorothy and leave Munchkinland.
Rain, Liir, Nor, and Candle stay together for multiple years, becoming a real family in ways. However the pressure and worry of the Grimmerie being discovered has them break apart. Nor brings Rain to St. Prowd’s where she meets other girls her age and a boy named Tip. Rain gets word that there is a chance that the Grimmerie has been found, and that Shiz University (and St. Prowd’s) will be attacked. She escapes with Tip to go to Kiamo Ko.
At Kiamo Ko, Rain discovers Nor has died and her father has been taken. She meets Nanny and Tip leaves to find her father (by this point they are more than friends but less than lovers. They do love each other.). Rain and company (Brrr, Dorothy, etc) go to the Emerald City to speak to Shell. Meanwhile Liir is help captive by the Munchkins. He is beaten and then turned into an elephant. He remeets with Trism who reveals how he was tortured by the Emperor’s guard while looking for Liir. Trism works for the Muchkinlanders and has a horde of new dragons. Tip comes to save Liir but is also connected to the Munchkinlanders. Liir refuses to join them and he and Trism say their good byes. Rain meets with her uncle Shell, who is a pompous power hungry person, and then meets with her mother once more. Her mother reveals her father is dead and the Emerald City is attacked by dragons.
The dragons are fought off but the Munchkinlanders win. They invade the Emerald City and Liir’s body is brought to Brrr and Rain. Liir is said to actually be alive, and there is a spell to bring him back. Emperor Shell and the Muchkinlanders have parley. Tip and Rain sleep with eachother. Liir is to be brought back to human with a spell but something goes wrong. Rain’s skin returns to green. Tip returns to being Ozma Tippetarius the lost Queen of Oz. Tip and Rain meet and speak on how in some ways it doesn’t surprise Rain.
Shell abdicates. Ozma is to take over again. She sets up Brrr as her regent. Glinda is moved to the high end prison. Rain sends Dorothy back with the Grimmerie. Rain and Liir move to Kiamo Ko and bury the Grimmerie. Candle leaves Liir and Rain. Glinda is freed and the Grimmerie sprouts a tree for brooms. Rain takes one and the Grimmerie and flys out of Oz and past all the other countries to the ocean where she plans to keep flying. She will only discard the Grimmerie once she is far enough away.
What I Liked:
Rain; To be fair I really did like her as a character. I suppose I just really like the Thropp family in general.
Continuation on past characters; They were well pushed and developed for what it is worth and from where they came from.
New Dorothy; I like the idea of a sixteen year old Dorothy. I also like that she wasn’t shaking like a child the entire time that she was in the book.
Tip/Ozma; I liked this reveal and I liked how it was led up to through the book. It was a great way for building it, IMO, as well as their relationship to Rain.
Continuation on Politics; Always great and I’m happy with how the state of the world ended.
Writing Style; This book mirrored the first book a lot more in how it told Rain’s like and I appreciated that, which is probably why I rated it so high.
Themes; The two largest for me were
Childhood/Loss of Childhood;
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
I wanted Nor to live and Liir to have a more happy ending, but I guess we can’t get everything we want.
Time Taken To Read
“The tedious never die; that’s what makes them tedious.” – pg 32
“Deep fate is always run from behind the curtain, from which we are asked to divert our attention.” – pg 123
“Dead, they convince nothing about Death, except via the corollary that Life, perhpahs, had always been made from scrap materials, and always would be.” – pg 189
‘ What would she be when she grew up? She whispered the answer. “Gone.” ‘ – pg 217
‘ “… well she was gone.”
“Killed,” said Fegg.
“Gone,” Said Dorothy.
“Is that the same thing?”
“Who can say?” ‘ – pg 297
“Why does the day with the brightest blue sky come tagged with a hint of foreboding? Maybe it’s only the ordinary knowledge of transience — all comes to dust, to rot, to rust, to the moth. That sort of thing. Or maybe it’s that beauty itself is invisible to mortal eyes unless it’s accompanied by some sickly sweet eschatological stink.” – pg 335
“Every choice brings wisdom in its wake. If you got to have the wisdom first, it wouldn’t be a choice — just a policy.” – pg 504
“What was it saying to her? Nothing in words — she’d been listening to the wrong thing. It didn’t speak to her through its hush. It spoke to her through its presence.
It was saying to her: I exist, so what does that say to you?” – pg 552-553
‘ “Writing never helped a soul do a thing.”
“Except , maybe, to think.” ‘ – pg 553