I would say that the thing that I didn't quite "get" about this book was how the lion ever came to be called cowardly. Of course we know that Wicked took some beloved characters and turned them topsy-turvy, but in a very well-written, enjoyable sort of way. While I liked this book, I still can't help but think that the only thing Maguire truly got right about his version of the lion - "Brrr", as he is named in this novel - was that he was a bit of a dandy.
It was certainly refreshing to see a bit more of Oz and its history, especially through the eyes of a different character, and yes - in reading this book you will gather answers to some of the questions that were likely raised in your mind while reading Wicked and Son of a Witch. That, combined with the fact that as frustrating as he can be Brrr really did draw me in as a character, bumped up my rating just a bit. 3.5/5 stars.
"Just my luck, if I believed in luck. I only believe in the opposite of luck, whatever that is."
"How could Brr imagine relief from loneliness when he hadn't found companionship yet? What goes unnamed remains hard to correct."
"The past, even a bitter past, is usually more pungent than the present, or at least better organized in the mind."
"'A little therapy, or a stiff drink, and maybe the memory of your past life would return.'
'Maybe,' she replied, 'But I don't believe in past lives.'"
"...we put onto our dreams the shapes we think with during the day, depriving our dreams of the message they are trying to deliver. Such it was with me. There was so much life, it was so vivid; but I could only think of it with the experience of life I had already had."
"'...strangers can become enemies, but friends? - friends can never return to being strangers again.'"
"He slept apart, alone, and stayed until his insomnia flared up again, at which point he moved on to the next farm. A conveniently changing horizon seemed the only prophylactic against his obsessive review of his grievances. The next horizon, sometimes the next farm, was always more promising, until it proved not to be so, after all."
"'One can always trust a coward to behave in a certain manner; they are predictable as rust.'"
"...one doesn't want to live wrong - from breath to breath, from start to finish, to get it wrong, so wrong, so fully wrong, that one has never had the glimmer of an idea that it might be better. Or does one? Maybe if you're going to get it that wrong, it's better to get it all wrong."
"The pencil was lying about how much meaning the world was capable of. Any conclusion she could ever reach was false, because the validity of any conclusion could not be proved by any creature still imprisoned in the throes of life, and therefore still ill educated about myriad cause and final effect."
"It wasn't that I loved her, he told himself. She never let me know enough about her to know if I could love her or not.
Neither, he whimpered to himself, neither did I let her know myself."
"'Fate is only fate once it has happened. Even our own deaths are only theoretical until we croak."