Reviews for The Orphan Sorceress of Oz
A sampling of the rave reviews on Amazon for The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Orphan Sorceress of Oz (formerly titled “The Witch Queens“).
I love reading new Oz books, but “The Witch Queens” was a departure from the usual Oz fare. The story revolves around young Glinda, unhappy with her mother and her over-protective life. Soon she is in the middle of a war with the other witches who want to rule Oz. Glinda finds some allies, including a young man with the initials O.Z. who becomes a “wizard”. What sets this apart from many new Oz books is that Tarl Telford does not try to write in L. Frank Baum’s style. This is not cutesy or corny. It is directed towards a more sophisticated reader. The book is full of adventure and in depth character development. It’s a good read!
Jeffrey P. Bampos
Not only do you learn Glinda’s coming of age story in this book, but you will learn the origins of the Good Witch of the North, the Silver Slippers, the Golden Cap, why the witches melt, the settlement of the Emerald City and Oz countries, and more!
This is a very exciting, action packed adventure story that impressively builds itself around the original source material. Tarl Telford does an excellent job of NOT rewriting Oz history to fit his vision, while staying true to his own! Telford even explains the reversal of East and West on the Oz map, and he cleverly identifies Gayelette and Quelala as Glinda’s parents. The characterization of Glinda as a rebellious teenager compliments Baum’s portrayal of her as a wise adult. I don’t know of any other Oz prequel or sequel that ties so many existing plotholes together in such a believable way. There’s one that the author didn’t delve into, but I can’t wait to read what he does with that! (Hint: Ozma) Additionally, his original characters (Wickrie-Kells, Flying Fish…you don’t get more “Ozzy” than that!) fit comfortably within the Oz universe.
This well deserves a look. It is more exciting than Oz the Great and Powerful, and don’t forget to read the classic Baum books, since this novel has many references to them.
Looking forward to the next installment!
Tarl Telford has accomplished something extraordinary in this prequel to The Wizard of Oz Series, seamlessly weaving his style without betraying the original books. This book tells the “Why and Who” was Glinda, before she was a good witch. Once I picked up the book, I was riveted by the feisty Glinda, a teenager trying to discover herself during a war. I read it in one sitting because I could not put it down. I’m looking forward to the next book from the creative genius of Tarl Telford to appear, as if by magic. This is just the right book for those who have always wondered how OZ began. A great read to share with your adolescent child or grandchild for Christmas!
As a fan of the Oz books by L. Frank Baum and those who kept his vision true, I am always afraid when I pick up a book like this.
It’s not to say that the writing in books like Wicked is bad, it’s that so many people are either so intent on making Oz their own or making Oz fit in with the MGM musical that they stray too far off the path and lose my interest.
That thankfully does NOT happen in the witch queens of Oz. Tarl Telford gives us a tale of a teenage Glinda trying to find her way in the world…and that world just so happens to be Oz. Oz is not yet the place it came to be in the Famous Forty +.
Without Ozma on the throne the people do not enjoy the benefits that came with her reign. Oz is a wild, wondrous land often very dangerous and dark, especially with the Wicked Witches waging war to divide Oz. How the witches get their magical items (the Silver Shoes and Golden Cap) is explained in great detail as is Glinda’s rise.
Glinda is the heart of this story and this shows how she’s had her hands in Oz politics since well before Dorothy came along. But this is also the Wizard’s origin story.
Don’t think this is just setting up the Wonderful Wizard of Oz though. This book also deals with later characters such as Mombi.
The descriptions are very good and though Mr. Telford describes the land and people with a lot of detail, he is never dull and keeps the story moving along.
If you want a good Oz story and have been considering a purchase of this book then don’t hesitate! The Witch Queens is a fantastic Oz story with a nice Celtic feel thrown in for good measure.