Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

The Wicked series is the most brilliant quartet I have ever read. Out of Oz is the final installment, and it contained everything that one would expect from Maguire and more.

Most people don’t like Maguire’s books because they are too real. People want magic to make life perfect. They want it to come from elves and result in a happy ending. Magic in Oz is too imperfect. People aren’t necessarily good or bad. Elphaba is actually a terrible person yet she is the hero of the series and beloved by many. On the other hand, the villains aren’t scary wizards living in towers or giant monsters who eat children. They’re you’re everyday politician, just with an extra magical trick or two up at their disposal, and that’s something people don’t want to read about. They don’t want to be reminded of their daily lives with the added fear of magic.

I suggest that people look beyond this though. Maguire’s books are full of philosophy and commentary on every aspect of daily life. They are real, but that’s what makes them beautiful. Maguire brings so much beauty to the lives of his somewhat downtrodden characters that I can’t help but get that glint in my eye that makes me wish to know what they feel. Elphaba was able to sing in such a way that she introduces an entirely different world to her school friends. Rain has the most beautiful romance that I have ever read in a book, including the Snape and Lilly chapter of the final Harry Potter book. What is terribly real in the book is what makes the beautiful moments even more important. I finished each book feeling true love. I feel almost as beautiful and wonderful reading these books as I do when I am with the person I love.

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