Out of Oz (The Wicked Years #4) by Gregory Maguire
Civil unrest doesn't quite cover the state of Oz as Dorothy re-enters, as Rain grows up. The world of Oz is at war, The Free State of Munchkinland versus Everyone Else. Rain spends her half her childhood in hiding and alone, the other half spent on the run with the Company of the Clock of the Time Dragon. By adolescence she's reunited with her family, unsure how to love, fearless, and angry.
Out of Oz ties up the series beautifully. The story starts with its fair share of tragedies; Rain seemingly orphaned, Lady Glinda a prisoner of war, Sir Brr and Nor in a union destined for doom, and hapless Dorothy riding an earthquake in to Munchkinland just as Munchkinland needs a scapegoat. Emperor Shell has declared himself a deity. Liir and Candle struggle to do what's right by their daughter, when the hardly know what's right for themselves. Trism, Commander Cherrystone, Chistery and Nanny, all make an appearance, to push the characters forward on their journey to do what is right...or wrong depending on whose point of view.
The point of this story isn't so much for the characters to find happy endings, but for the characters to find closure, to rise up despite their misfortunes and shine for however long life allows. And there is closure to be had...just not the way one might expect. The character of Rain, is as angry and isolated as her grandmother, but without Elphaba's desire for rash action. She has a thirst for knowledge, stands carefully with her friends, inadvertently finishing the Wicked Witch of the West's life work...From which Brr benefits greatly. Brr whose life has been filled with mistakes and cowardice from the very beginning, now get to experience love and respect. Not everybody gets a happy ending in life and nobody is entitled to all the answers. Not everybody gets to have things like true love or a place to call home-- but everybody gets the chance to live.
Review originally posted on:
May 26, 13