Son of a Witch: A Novel by Gregory Maguire
rating: 2 of 5 stars
Eh. It's just too much. It's a weak plot embellished with fantasy items. Liir actually doesn't know whether he's Elphaba's son, but she's recently died and he has to figure out what to do with his life. Some people ask him to do some things for them, and he's reluctant because he has low self-esteem, and really what he wants is to find his long-lost half-sister. But he doesn't even try too hard to do that. When he does solve a problem, it's with magic or some aspect of the fantasy, so it's not even an interesting puzzle.
This is why I don't like fantasy: At the beginning, Liir is found unconscious in the middle of a dessert, having broken just about every bone in his body. For about half the book, it's a mystery how he got there. (I'm going to tell you how right now.) It turns out he was flying on Elphaba's broom, and a fleet of dragons flew up and attacked him. Did anyone see that coming? Could anyone have guessed that there would be a fleet of dragons flying around Oz? Flying monkeys, yes, but dragons? I don't think so. And if I have no chance of puzzling out the puzzle before the book tells me, then what's the point? I'm not going to even try. And that's why I don't like fantasy.
And also because of this: "wild tsebra wheeling and cantering in their winter migration toward the south, an alphabet in the act of writing the story of tsebra migration." and, "Draffes, their long tawny necks swaying..." Come on, now. You can just call them zebras and giraffes. Stop fooling.