Friday, January 13, 2012

Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Welcome back, I finished Ozma of Oz last night, but I was unable to due a review due to the fact that I had to do some school work at home. Kids, just remember when you are an adult it's your job (not your school work or chores) that get in the way of fun and hobbies. I writing my review before work, so we'll see how well it goes with a caffeine deprived brain.

Our tale opens with Dorothy and her Uncle Henry on a different kind of adventure, one that I am jealous of. They are traveling to visit Australia, Uncle Henry has been ordered by the doctor to get some rest as he is ill from over-working. Sadly, the voyage isn't uneventful and they must sail through a severe storm. Dorothy loses track of her uncle and instead of searching for him in their berth she heads up on deck. She is washed overboard with a hen, who we later learn is named Bill, and a wooden chicken coop.

After being adrift for awhile, she notices the hen, who oddly enough begins to talk. This makes Dorothy aware that they have come to a fairyland, as chickens can't talk back home. Dorothy and Bill (or Billina as Dorothy renames her) soon come to a beach with a strange phrase written in the sand, "Beware the Wheelers". She finds a tree with lunch and dinner pails growing on it and picks one as she is very hungry. The Wheelers chase her into some rocks where she finds Tik Tok, a wind-up mechanical man.

Dorothy's adventure in Eve (yes Eve, not Oz) truly begins after rescuing Tik Tok. She finds the last royal family member and becomes her captive. Princess Langwidere has a collection of heads, and she wants Dorothy's. Ozma, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion come from Oz to rescue the Queen of Eve and her 10 children from the Gnome King and manage to rescue Dorothy in the meantime.

As with the other Oz books, fantastical and absurd events abound. This book was just as enjoyable as the first two.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

This is the second book in the Oz series. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman from the first installment return to share further adventures with the reader. We are introduced to a new young man named Tip who is indentured to Mombie, an evil witch.

The Scarecrow is the king of the Emerald City, and the Tin Woodsman, aka Nick Chopper, is the emperor of Winkies. The action truly begins when Tip tries to scar Mombi by building a man out of wood and a pumpkin. She is not scared and brings him to life with a magic powder. Tip decides to run away when the consequence for this prank is being turned to stone. He take the fake man, Jack Pumpkinhead, with him when he runs away.

In the Emerald City, the Scarecrow faces a revolt lead by General Jinjur.  The army is made up entirely out of girls, their only weapons being their femaleness and knitting needles. They take over the city easily, making it necessary for the Scarecrow to flee to the Tin Woodsman's kingdom.

This novel is as full of obscurities as the first one. I am still trying to determine how much is satire of that attitudes of the time. Oddly enough, there is a huge plot twist in this book, something I found very strange for the time in which it was written. I have already begun  Ozma of Oz, I'm looking forward to see if Baum can surprise me again.