This book is a great concept - tell the "other side"
of the Wizard of Oz story - the Witch's perspective. Along the way, delve
into the origins and nature of evil. We see how the impassioned goals
of the Witch get twisted into evil through upbringing, accident and bad
decisions. There are some amazingly well-thought-out characters here.
What particularly struck me were the connections to
the broader Oz story. Maguire throws in tidbits of what's to come in
Dorothy's story, and fleshes out the political implications of living
in a dictatorship of the Wizard. While these are fun for everyone in
connection to the classic movie, I had read all of the original Oz books
(14 by L. Frank Baum) as a kid, and Wicked seems to flesh them out too,
rather than contradicting them. It even incorporates and explains discrepencies
between the books and the movie. These references were a blast as they
would be imperceptible unless you've read the books (and it's already
been decades ago for me.) It inspired me to read some of the originals
I especially liked using the map that Maguire provides.
It jibes perfectly with Baum's classic maps of Oz.
One minor sticking point was that my edition had photos
from the hit Broadway play - but they were in the middle of the book.
I understand how this works for printing reasons, but I had to carefully
avoid them so as not to reveal plot points!