Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is the fourth book of the series. An earthquake splits open the earth under Dorothy, and she, her kitten Eureka, her cousin Zeb, and a horse named Jim fall into a city of glass. They are joined by the Wizard of Oz and nine piglets, and must wander through dangerous lands trying to find their way home.
In their journeys, they must cope with invisible bears, flying gargoyles, and a den of young dragons. But rescue, and a return to the Emerald City, are not the end of Dorothy’s troubles.
The fourth book in the Oz series is the most traditional. The characters go from place to place, each vastly different from each other, and must conquer an enemy to continue on their journey and reach their ultimate goal.
Once again the world building is fantastic and highly imaginative though completely unrealistic. I like how the fairy worlds are close to the human world, close enough that if you got lost you could stumble upon one.
The story does not take place in Oz, as the title would suggest, but below the Earth. Only at the end do the characters reach Oz and are reunited with their old friends. This creates room for more crazy lands and creatures, though this time the main characters are all from Earth. This provides an interesting contrast between human life and what else might exist.
There are no themes in this book though there are two ideas presented that made me think. The first is whether or not trickery is ever acceptable – to save your life or someone else’s. The wizard uses his tricks to deceive the enemy and saves Dorothy and her friends many times. The second is about standards. Dorothy, Zeb and the Wizard compare the characters they meet to other humans while Jim thinks he is a true horse and therefore the sawhorse is a fake. However, the sawhorse proves to be a better horse and sets the standard for all horses in Oz.
There were some inconsistencies about Mombi capturing Ozma, but it can simply be viewed as a plot twist, though Baum wrote as he felt like and didn’t care whether or not it contradicted something he wrote before.
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz did not disappoint and was a fun, easy read.