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Son of a Witch  By  cover art

Son of a Witch

By: Gregory Maguire
Narrated by: Gregory Maguire
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Publisher's Summary

Ten years after the publication of Wicked, beloved novelist Gregory Maguire returns at last to the land of Oz. There he introduces us to Liir, an adolescent boy last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully, Liir is shattered in spirit as well as in form. But he is tended at the Cloister of Saint Glinda by the silent novice called Candle, who wills him back to life with her musical gifts.

What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape, but what of her powers? Can he find his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prison, Southstairs? Can he fulfill the last wishes of a dying princess? In an Oz that, since the Wizard's departure, is under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?

For the countless fans who have been dazzled and entranced by Maguire's Oz, Son of a Witch is the rich reward they have awaited so long.

Listen to an interview with author Gregory Maguire.
©2005 Gregory Maguire (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Masterfully imaginative....Ten years after Wicked (which is still on Broadway), fans will once again be clicking their heels with wonderment." (Publishers Weekly)
"A tale that adroitly mixes drama, humor, and political satire into a well-knit examination of good and evil." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about Son of a Witch

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A veritable trainwreck of narration

Like others, I kept waiting for the story to get better. It didn't. Like others, I kept waiting for the narrating to improve. It didn't.

Okay, to be honest, I made it to where Liir gets into Southstairs and just couldn't listen any more. At first I thought, how nice to hear the author's interpretation of the characters. That lasted about two minutes. (And I'm being generous here.) Maguire would have done much better not to even try to do character voices than the inconsistent and intolerably annoying voices he used. Like Shell's vaguely southern accent. Ugh.

I think that John McDonough did a stupendous job on Wicked and I might actually have been able to listen to the whole story if he had been narrating this somewhat weak sequel. If you're really interested in the story, read the book.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A good writer does not a good reader make

The underlying story was good - although it lacked much of the creativity of Wicked - spending a inordinate amount of text belaboring the same issues, sometimes verbatim, rather than letting the storytelling bring the points to life for the author. The most unfortuante aspect of this Audiobook was reader's (author's) inadequate character voices and tendency to emphasize the wrong place in sentences. It frequently made it difficult to follow the story, and I'm still not sure I followed it.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

good writer. narrator? yeah, not such much...

i agree with an earlier review: although i loved wicked, and am enjoying son of a witch so far, the author does not make a good narrator at all. i don't know how to explain it exactly, but his narration voice makes it sound like he is reading the book to a 5 year-old. things only get worse when he tries to go into character and change his voice to match some of the characters' genders, ages, and accents -- it's just downright annoying. this audiobook is taking me twice as long to go through than usual, because every time i think about listening to it, i have second thoughts when i remember how distracting the narrations is. too bad. :o(

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

only desperate fans will cheer for this

Ugh, what hell did this come out of? It was TERRIBLE> I loved Wicked, but the curse of the best selling sequel strikes again. Plus...the....narrator/author....pauses...between....each....phrase....just...like...he...was....
reading...it...for...the...first...time.Which is ironic since he produced it! I know where the reader is from! He is the one on cell phone error messages.."error number w24. The caller you are trying to reach has travelled outside the service area". Hire a professional!. Not even clever, Wicked packed a whallop, that is a kick in the butt for thinking it would be half as good as the first. Yeah there was a lot going on but this was like a merry-go-round....everything in circle and no real resolution.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't do the Audio

As a bookseller I listen to books so I can pass information on to my customers. After listening to this one I will recommend the book to the customer, but have told them not to waste their money on buying the audio version. It was all I could do to eekk through this one. The story was good, but I hope the author never again tries to narrate another one of his books.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Sequel to Wicked

When I first picked this up, I didn't realize it was the sequel to Wicked. It has been a long time afterall since Wicked. Very enjoyable listen start to finish, and one I would recommend.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Read it yourself

The story itself wasn't horrible, but the narration was unbearable.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • NM
  • 09-22-08

Sounds like a cold read...ugh.

When I started listening to this audio with my husband, I was disappointed that the narrator of Wicked was not used. I thought that maybe they couldn't get him or something. I didn't realize it was the author reading until coming back to Audible. The reading is so horrible..it sounds like a cold read by someone unfamiliar with the book. He pauses and emphasizes words as if he can't pronounce them correctly. I hope he doesn't try to do it again.Stick to writing and leave narrating to the professionals

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Obscured by narration

I wish they spent the extra money and got the narrator of Wicked.
But alas... :(
I think the reading of this work is a labor to listen through.
Interesting though... having the author read his own book gives me a insight on the way he thinks it is supposed to go. Applying that insight to Wicked makes that work much less appealing.
Hurray for John McDonough (Wicked narrator).
Please, on the 3rd book use John.. Please!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Terriable Reader

I read "Wicked" over the holiday and was excited to listen to "Son of a Witch." The story isn't as strong but enjoyable...however the intrepretation by the author is absolutely awful! Many of the characters' voices were flat with pauses between...each...word. Think of the worst audition on American Idol and you have some idea of the 13+ hours of agony that must be endured to get through this book. Buy the book and read it yourself, you will enjoy it more. I am begging the publisher never let's Mr. McQuire read another long novel again.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 12-18-07

Let Down By The Ending

I enjoyed this all the way and became very involved in the characters which is why I felt especially cheated when the novel ended abruptly, leaving many questions unanswered and the fate of almost everyone hanging.
I even checked to see if I'd forgotten to download a part but no that seemed to be it.
An intruguing listen but ultimately unsatisfying.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 09-07-16

very sad

didn't enjoy this book at all..... the first book wicked I listen to twice so I was excited to get listen to this one .

1 the stupid music for no reason got to me I don't know why

2 gregory maguire voice just did my head in his voice is so boring.

3 oh when he tried to do voices aww I don't know he should just stay to writing book.

I really hope the next 2 book he is not reading if so I don't see me getting them.

I think I'm going to get the book and read it myself I say the story would be good but his voice has just put me off.

I'm sorry I'm writing this

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caemlyn Louise Boddy
  • 07-19-22

I thought Wicked was good but this is even better!

I never really wanted to read this series of books, but I tried them and my god they are good. And I really love the pace and narration. Adds to it for sure. I can’t wait to read the next one!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart Rees
  • 01-22-21

What were they thinking letting Maguire narrate?!

I love this book, I've read the whole series before. I enjoyed the Wicked audiobook which chose a fantastic narrator. But with this book they allowed the author, Gregory Maguire narrate. Now I've heard Maguire's actual speaking voice and it's fine, so what possessed him to read this book in a raspy half whisper beats me. The character voices are worse though, when it got to my favourite part of the book, The Council of Birds, the bird voices are so annoying I had to turn it off. Unlistenable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-18

An alternate history of OZ

I very much appreciated the continued story from Wicked. I did not expect to be reading from Liir's perspective, however it was very interesting to see the characters from Wicked grown and withering away. I thought Gregory Maguire did a fantastic job narrating. Many more questions are left unanswered in this book, which leaves me excited to read the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-17

One-dimensional, unlikable characters, slow, and revisionist.

This book nearly completely rewrites the history established in Wicked. The characters are cliche' and one-dimensional, often without a single likeable trait. The story is slow and any sense of interest is expelled by lack of tempo. The narrator is atrocious, with awkward pauses (almost like he can't smoothly transition from one line on the page to the next), terrible character creation, and no acting ability. All in all this book has made me decide not to continue this series despite really enjoying Wicked and wondering what was next. I'll read the plots on Wikipedia and be happier for not wasting any more time.