Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Lion Among Men-Gregory Maguire

A Lion Among Men
Gregory Maguire
Harper, Sep 2009, $16.00
ISBN: 9780060859725

The Emperor of Oz enjoys war although he remains comfortable far from the combat inside the Emerald City. Munchkinland rebels and the emperor’s armies are preparing for combat. At the same time Brrr the Cowardly Lion travels around the countryside as a reluctant imperial spy. He agreed to become an espionage agent so he can elude the Animal Adverse Laws that harshly discriminate against talking animals.

Brrr reaches the Mauntery of St. Glinda where Yackle the cantankerous Seeress resides. He is to interrogate the crone before she dies, which can be any nanosecond or several lion lifetimes. Instead of gaining much information for use in the war, Brrr begins to learn about his unknown past, being alone, and afraid.

The third Wicked Years fantasy (see WICKED and SON OF A WITCH) continues the homage to L. Frank Baum through a deep look at the late author’s key characters while also subtly and not so subtly satirizing society. The cast is incredible as Brrr and company work through some complicated issues like responsibly and accountability in a world centrally managed by magic. Filled with whimsy yet deep philosophical questions, A LION AMONG MEN is once again an entertaining thought provoking fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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