What I liked about this book was its contemporary flavor with traditional quality. Maguire clearly planned the world it is set in, and didn't relie on Baum's version of Oz to make his story alive. I mean, hell, he developed a style of poetry as part of this worldset, and gave it a role in the politics of the plot, it wasn't just fluff (and if I had my copy nearby -which I don't- I could name that style of poetry).

I particularly appreciated the social commentary disguised in the debates about Animals (talking, thinking, educated, furry members of society) vs. animals (food stock and pets), and Animals vs People. The little voice in my head kept asking me, "What is race then? Why do we let it separate us so much? Is it what you are or what you do that makes you?"

An interesting novel told from an unconventional point of view. Gregory Maguire (author) tells the tale of the Wicked Witch from the classic children's story The Wizard of Oz , and broadens and adds detail to the world of Oz itself. Novel gives an intriguing look into a character we thought we knew, but in reality know nothing about. The history of the Wicked Witch of the West, whose birth name is Elphaba, turns out to be much more compelling than one might at first think. A worthwhile read; it will make you look at The Wizard of Oz in a whole new way.

Also by Gregory Maguire: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. A similar idea, only this time it's the retelling of Cinderella, from one of the evil stepsister's view.

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