Published in: 2008
Edition read: E-book
Book #: Book 3 in The Wicked Years series
While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, a enigmatic figure known as Brrr – the Cowardly Lion – arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. As payment, Yackle, who hovered on the sidelines of Elphaba’s life, demands some answers of her own.
Brrr surrenders his story to the ailing maunt: Abandoned as a cub, his earliest memories are gluey hazes, and his path from infancy in the Great Gillikin Forest is no Yellow Brick Road. Seeking to redress an early mistake, he trudges through a swamp of ghosts, becomes implicated in a massacre of trolls, and falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the warmongering Emperor of Oz.
Urgh, why was this written? The cowardly lion seems like he’d be a pretty interesting character, but he aint. He’s a disappointment. He is cowardly, we know this, but we expect him to grow and evolve and eventually not be cowardly- but hey, spoiler, he doesn’t become anything, he is just always cowardly.
He’s dull and boring, he’s a whinger and a whiner, the most interesting person in this book is Yackle- a batshit insane old lady who literally crawls out of the grave and then starts sprouting randomness.
It took a while to get through this book just because I was so, so very bored, and I just really hated Brr. If you are going to make a coward your main character, he either has to have some redeeming quality if you want him to remain cowardly, or he has to grow out of the coward act and become brave. Don’t have either of those happening, and you have a boring dislikeable character that is a struggle to read about.
A Lion among men rating: 2/10. Without Yackle, this book would suck. Also, bring back Elphie. She was also batshit insane.
Would I re-read it? No
Who would I recommend it to? Erm… well, if you’ve made it through the first two in this series, may as well give this one a shot.