Review

Review: Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Genre: Fantasy
Age Level: Junior
Source: Library
Series: Oz #3
Interest: plot, series

Readers of all ages will welcome the chance to be reunited with Dorothy Gale and such beloved characters as the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion, as well as to meet new favorites such as the Hungry Tiger, whose appetite is never satisfied; Princess Langwidere, who has thirty heads; Billina, a talking chicken; and Tiktok, a mechanical man.

Blown overboard while sailing with her uncle, Dorothy finds herself in the fairy realm of Ev. She sets out with her friends to rescue the Queen of Ev and her ten children, who have been imprisoned by the cruel Nome King. But even Ozma, the wise Ruler of Oz, is no match for the clever king, and it’s up to Dorothy to save everyone from terrible danger. But will the Nome King’s enchantments be too much even for the plucky little girl from Kansas?

3/5

Ozma of Oz is yet again another imaginative read with interesting characters, settings and themes. It also presents a slightly darker story line, while still maintaining humorous elements.

In Ozma of Oz, the setting is no longer the familiar land of Oz, but the Land of Ev, which has its own set of fantastical creatures. However, despite the new setting, the world is quite similar to that of Oz and the same characters return once again, so it doesn’t feel all that different.

I enjoyed the change in setting as it opens up the possibility for their to be other lands in Oz’s vicinity. Like the land of Oz, a whole host of new and unique characters await at every turn. Once again there are talking animals, and people both living and non-living, yet each one is unique and creative.

Unlike the two previous stories, there are no obvious themes in Ozma though the idea of abuse of power is revisited. Both the Nome King and Princess  Langwidere have become corrupted, the former becoming arrogant  the latter vain. The Nome King believes he’s unbeatable and turns those he has no need of into ornaments. The Princess wants nothing more than to sit and look at her reflection all day and change her heads. The army is also parodied in this book, presenting a group of men who are scared of their own shadows and just like to order people around.

Dorothy suddenly develops what I believe is meant to be a Kansas accent, though it was not present (at least not obviously so) in the Wizard of Oz, and was slightly confusing at the beginning. Yet, as I love reading accents, it didn’t bother me much.

I really liked how the ending was left open for a sequel and I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Dorothy and her friends!

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