Top positive review
"It's been a swell, mysterious mess of a life"
Reviewed in the United States on May 20, 2016
ALAM doesn't have quite the impact of WICKED, but that is to be expected, WICKED being the first of the tetralogy which laid out Maguire's entire alternate mythos of Oz. Still, this third book holds its own in the series. The characterization of the Brrr the "Cowardly" Lion is keen: He's not cowardly, just thoughtfully indecisive, ambivalent about loyalties, and subject to blame no matter what he does, qualities often confused with cowardice. His low status as an Animal in Oz's caste system has obvious parallels in our world. ALAM has all the layers of the first two books, richly expanding on certain details and locations of Maguire's Oz. The separate threads of the book often seem unrelated to each other, but it all comes together in the very satisfying ending. The biggest detraction is the amount of space spent on Brrr's interrogation of Yackle, which could have been condensed a bit.