Author: Gregory Maguire
Series: 3rd in Wicked Years
Published: Octoober 2008 by William Morrow
Description: 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?
I Give This...
A question I often get asked is "Have you read Maguire before." Yes, I have and for the most part of enjoyed his work. But, I think it takes dedication because his stories are offbeat and woven in an interesting way. I loved Wicked and was thrilled to hear he had written a sequel. I read Son of Witch and thought it was ok, but felt the story and gone on in a different way. I didn't think it was the Oz I remembered.
I feel the same way about this one. Only Maguire has strayed even further from the path. At times I found it extremely bland and wondered what this particular event had to do with the present story. But, then something would click and I would be into the story again. The Lion was nothing like what I imagined him to be and he seemed to hold a grudge against Dorothy (which is not how I pictured it in my head). I wasn't entirely sure if he was really working for the government or had his own hidden agenda.
I'm not sure I would even call Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men a continuation of the story started in Wicked. Except there seems to be some small thread of prophecy that connects them all. I haven't found it yet because when this story ended, I was extremely frustrated to realize there is probably going to be another one. It's not done yet and I don't know if I feel dedicated enough to finish what I've started.