Lately I’ve just put down Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire and I have to say that it was brilliant — I loved the fully-realized political and spiritual backdrop for the tale, and Elphaba was certainly a character. She’s the title character, but it was so well written that you actually feel and know her to be an outsider. The outsider? In her own book. Hence the politics and the spiritual/religious backdrop aren’t really a backdrop after all, but they’re pretty much the meat and core of the tale.
Being the hopeless sap that I am, you’d probably guess what my favorite part is. Spoiler alert, for those of you who don’t want to be spoiled ;) but Elphaba and Fiyero’s ultimately-doomed relationship was a treat. I was half expecting her and Boq to end up together — the other half was that I didn’t feel like I wanted her to be in a relationship. But when Fiyero and she did end up in a rather complicated relationship, it was a suprise, a good surprise, a treat. She was a little “closer” then, not so much an outsider, while it lasted.
I think I’m definitely picking up Son of a Witch now, which I had read a bit of in a bookstore back in the Philippines. It’s definitely an intriguing read.