Trot, a young girl from California, and her peg-legged sailor friend, Cap’n Bill, find themselves on a perilous and exciting voyage when a whirlpool leaves them stranded in an underwater cave. There they are befriended by a most curious creature–the Ork. With four paddle-like wings, legs like a stork’s, a parrot’s head, and a tail like a propeller, the Ork proves to be a very welcome and helpful companion.
After escaping the cave, the three friends make their way to the magical Land of Mo, where it snows popcorn and rains lemonade. Here they find Button-Bright–lost once again and eager to join in their adventures.
Together, the four travel across the deadly desert and into the Land of Oz, only to find themselves in new troubles with the scowling King Krewl and Blinkie, a wicked witch. But when everything seems its worst, who should come to their rescue but the Scarecrow of Oz himself! Thanks to the Scarecrow’s wondrous brains, our friends just might have a chance to prevail against their heartless enermes.
The ninth Oz story is a wonderful adventure spanning from the United States to Oz with many lands in between. While I love Oz, I enjoyed reading about the other fairy lands that coexist in our world, as it is yet another testament to Baum’s endless imagination and it keeps the plots from feeling stale and boring.
Of course, new characters are introduced and old ones return, but it’s definitely a plot driven story. The characters are trying to find their way home and need to defeat the evil King Krewl and Blinkie in order to accomplish this. This plot is very tense and quite complex at times with the story following the villains, Trot and Cap’n Bill and various other characters, especially Pon and Gloria, the star-crossed lovers. And it wouldn’t be an Oz book if it didn’t end with a party in the Emerald City.
The novel comments on a great many things. It comments on the nature of love; how love is eternal and involuntary. We can’t chose who we love, or stop loving them no matter what obstacles get thrown in the way. Baum cautions against arrogance and reveals how it can lead to a person’s downfall. The scarecrow becomes too cocky at one point and it places him in an undesirable situation. Friendship is also scrutinized as Trot and Cap’n Bill befriend many people along the way and it is revealed that the foundation of friendship is kind deeds.
I can’t wait to read the next one!
Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!