A Fiery Friendship (Ages of Oz)

Lions, and tigers, and bears, not quite! Travel down the red brick road with the world’s most iconic Good Witch, Glinda, as she embarks on a brave adventure in Oz in this start to a brand-new series from Gabriel Gale and Lisa Fiedler.

On her Declaration Day, a day meant for celebration and happiness, Glinda’s peaceful life in Oz is shattered when her mother is imprisoned for practicing forbidden Magic. As she is ripped from her home by a fearsome bounty hunter sent by Aphidina, the Witch of the South, Glinda soon uncovers a startling truth: the Oz she’s always know is not good and right—it’s a world governed by the wickedest of the wicked, overrun with tyranny, corruption, and dark power. And Glinda’s mother? She is actually a high-ranking member of a secret society whose mission is to overthrow the four Wicked Witches and set the stage for the return of the rightful ruler of Oz.

With the help of a feisty, purple-haired girl named Locasta, Glinda sets across the unforgiving landscape to rescue her mother. They are soon joined by Ben, a revolutionary New Yorker, and a mysterious girl called Shade. Armed with their individual gifts, these unlikely heroes mount an epic attack on Aphidina to free Glinda’s mother…and save the future of Oz from the Wickeds before it’s too late.

If you are someone who has frequently travelled to Oz and back through L. Frank Baum’s many works or the various adaptations and stories set there then you’ll like this chance to return again and see it through Lisa Fiedler’s eyes. You’ll once again meet the good and the villains; Mombi, Glinda, the Tin Woodsman and more.

 Although you should be more than familiar with Oz, how it looks, feels and works as a society this author still managed to put her own spin on it letting you walk through this magical land as if it’s brand new to you. You’ll meet exciting characters and go on an incredulous journey with new adventures Baum hadn’t covered. It’s something of a prequel in a way telling the story of Oz before Dorothy finds it with Glinda as the Good Witch of the South; here Glinda isn’t a witch or in charge of anything so it’s something of a coming of age story for her.

 The only negative I found, and it was a small one, it didn’t feel like all the characters – Glinda in particular – was fully developed or the story taken to full fruition. That could be because this is only the first book in a series so it’s only a negative in the sense I want more which means the author has done her job in making me want to get her next book.

 There’s been lots of authors spinning their own tales and versions of Oz history since Baum first opened a window to this world decades ago. It’s always interesting to see what perspective of Oz and its people we will be treated to next so you should give Fiedler a chance to wow you with her witchy smashing talent.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Margaret K. McElderry Books for allowing me to review this book.

 *synopsis and pic from netgalley.com

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