Son of a Witch and I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Gregory Maguire's writing style. I originally read Wicked, the prequel to this book, after seeing the musical. The stories are veeeeerrrrrry different. So, if you plan on reading the novel because you liked the musical...be prepared.
While I'm not a big fan of his writing style, I also have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with his books. I'll be reading the story and have a hard time following it, but then once I get to the end of a chapter I'll think about what I've read and think to myself, "this is actually a pretty good story!" Saying this, I would never recommend this to child or even adolescents. These are adult novels and have adult content. Nothing super racy...but, there is stuff I would never read to a child (of any age). Also, a lot of these books discuss different aspects having to deal with politics in society, different ethical questions and how people versus Animals (talking/thinking/reasoning animals) versus animals are treated. There's a lot of similarities that are mirrored in our society that Maguire does a good job of describing.
Basically, Wicked followed the life of Elphaba, also known as the Wicked Witch of West, and how she was simply "misunderstood." Son of a Witch follows the life of her possible son, Liir. Liir is uncertain as to whether or not he is truly the son of Elphaba; she never showed any sort of maternal instinct towards him. In fact, when asked Elphaba states that she's not sure either. This is because Elphaba fell into a coma-like state after her lover dies in Wicked and when she 'comes to' there is Liir as a small child. Elphaba does not remember giving birth or being pregnant, yet that time in her life is very murky in her memory so she can't fully deny it with certainty. However, halfway through the novel Liir does go ahead and claim Elphaba as his mother, at least to society if not in his heart.
Going into the novel knowing this...and by the way I would NOT recommend reading this book if you haven't read Wicked first, you'd be completely lost...this novel follows the young adulthood life of Liir. There are slow parts and there are fast parts, but the ending is the best. And you find out for certain whether or not he is truly Elphaba's son. I won't say how, but I loved how Gregory Maguire revealed this. And although I do have a love/hate relationship with his writing, I might eventually read A Lion Among Men. Why? Why not? I've made it this far in the series, why not finish it up!