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Publisher's Summary

In the much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion.

While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, a figure known as Brrr - the Cowardly Lion - arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Abandoned as a cub, his path from infancy is no Yellow Brick Road. In the wake of laws that oppress talking animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the warmongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics.

©2008 Gregory Maguire (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    277
  • 4 Stars
    266
  • 3 Stars
    179
  • 2 Stars
    56
  • 1 Stars
    32

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    295
  • 4 Stars
    147
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    11

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    232
  • 4 Stars
    142
  • 3 Stars
    119
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Huntington, WV, USA
  • 01-14-10

Gregory and John Together Again

I have to agree with the outstanding reviews of the novel. For those who didn't receive closure in this book, it's very important to understand that not everything has closure and that's what I appreciate about Gregory Maguire's Wicked novels. They always leave me wanting more of the story (which for me seems like a very smart thing to do from an author's stand point).

This book is from another viewpoint of a character from Baum's original creation of characters. He opens another world for us as insight on a more feasible less childlike version of the original with "real" problems and "real" characters.

Further, I love that John McDonough is narrating this 3rd installment. He narrated the Wicked and it was fantastic. Son of a Witch was narrated by Gregory Maguire himself, and while I think this was a great novelty, I much prefer the development that McDonough has put into the characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love for Wicked or it's predecessors.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

This is the third book in the "Wicked Cycle" series by Gregory Maguire, and it is fantastic. The story is entertaining and the narrator (also narrated Wicked) does an excellent job.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Pie
  • Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 03-05-10

A very BIG story...

It's funny, but for such simply told stories (in many ways) ...the depth of detail accumulates very quietly. The story is BIG and it is ushered forwards from a different characters perspective in each book in the series. It's not simply a re-visiting of the neighborhood of a previously told story... it's a forwarding of a much bigger story. And before I knew it, ...the story had acquired a LOT of very rich details along the way. It's Elpheba's story, and Leer's too, and Ozma's ...and the Cumberland Witch's, ...and... Yackel, and Brrrrr.... , and.... Nor, ...and ...Shell, ...and... (Note: since this is all "audible" ...I really don't know how to spell these names correctly <lol>).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this continuation of Wicked!

Great story & narration-- but PLEASE -- NO MUSIC!!!! It's so distracting it really messes up the flow of the story. It is unnecessary and even disturbing. The story is great, well written, typical McGuire brilliance, nuance and humor. Narrator very very good! The music interspersed is the only downside to this audio book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Margot
  • Silverton, CO, United States
  • 10-23-09

very touching

Can't quite relate to the bad reviews. I was very touched by this story. I want to scratch him under the chin. I've read WICKED and this one and like this one just fine. The lion is endearing, pitiable, likable, sympathetic and finally heroic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of Gregory's Best

Gregory returns to his best form with this book. I enjoyed this book as much as the original volume Wicked. The characters are vivid, fully formed, and deep. The prose is some of his best. A must listen/read.

The production of the book was only OK though. There are a few music interludes in the book of about 15 seconds each. I never did figure out why they were there and what they represented. There were several instances where the story broke off to start a new thread, these transitions were often abrupt and it was unclear that a scene transition occured. Other than that the story was well read and told. I just felt the editing of the story was a bit haphazard.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

OOOoh this book was so disappointing to me. I know it is about the "Cowardly Lion" but my god this thing is whiney and depressing. ALL the charecters in this book are completely self-absorbed and "whoa is me". It doesnt do "Wicked" justice at all.

My advice, skip this one - you wont learn anything new about Elphaba or Glinda and it doesnt continue the story from "Son of a Witch" except to give a brief overview of what happened in that book and supposition at the VERY end of the book. BLAH what a waste of time

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book, Annoying Interludes

I loved this book (as I have all in the series). McDonough does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life as he reads. The only thing I’d change is the musical interludes... they don’t add anything to the story and they disrupt the flow of it while you’re listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh Burr

Once again what a story. The life of an animal living among humans and how humans treat animals.... Thank you John McDonough for telling to story, I love listening to you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Brandenburg, Ky, USA
  • 10-24-17

great book

another great addition to the series. as a person who has loved any storey to do with OZ. I feel in love with this series because it gave a different perspective of the witch.