A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, Book 3) by Gregory Maguire

By Gregory Maguire

Whereas civil battle looms in ounces, Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—surrenders the tale of his lifestyles to a tetchy oracle named Yackle. deserted as a cub, Brrr's course from infancy within the nice Gillikan wooded area isn't any Yellow Brick street. trying to redress an early mistake, he trudges via a swamp of ghosts, turns into implicated in a bloodbath of trolls, falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess, and avoids a prison sentence by way of agreeing to function a lackey to the war-mongering Emperor of ounces.

A portrait of a would-be survivor and a breathtaking glimpse of an international long past shrill with conflict fever, Gregory Maguire's A Lion between Men is written with the sympathy and gear that experience made his books modern classics.

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The equipage rocked and lurched like a small ornate ship on stony seas. Above, the clockwork dragon supervised. How much of Oz those dull eyes had taken in. Oz rehearsing itself, rearranging itself decade after decade. Whimsy and fate, destiny and accident. The fall of the house of Ozma, the dirty years of the Wizard, the rise of impeccable Shell, holy Emperor of Oz. Fortunes, in any case: changeable fortunes converted into the changeless facts of biography by every passing tick of its mechanisms.

Am I hallucinating all this? Kill me or save me, as you wish, but for the love of the Unnamed God, do it soon. 舡 It was this last remark that moved the Lion to pity, or pity of a sort. He knew about being alone. The weather was always cold there. He padded forward and put his big head down on the man舗s chest. The man swooned in fear or disbelief, whereupon the scattershot snare in his chest slowed to a more stately thud. The Lion considered creeping off. The whole thing was so embarrassing. 舡 He didn舗t want to be rude and leave without the correct valediction.

He rubbed the cat舗s arthritic spine, and a net of hairs came off on the pad of his paw. He held them out. Each hair looked like nothing so much as a thread of glass. 舠Revolting,舡 said Sister Hospitality, charitably enough. 舠Look, it hardly has a shadow,舡 said Brrr, and this was almost true; the morning light of the vestibule slanted through where the cat stood, stretching arthritically on the flagstones. 舡 said the Lion. 舡 舠If it舗s as fragile as glass, it will be pleased to learn that our own mousers have recently fled,舡 said Sister Hospitality.

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