The second Oz adventure came along four year’s after the original novel, as Mr. Baum was swamped with letters asking for more tales of Oz and to learn what had happened to the Lion (sadly, missing from this book), the Tin Woodman, whose real name is revealed to be Nick Chopper, and the Scarecrow.
This time around, a young boy, Tip, is the ward of the rather wicked Mombi, who is not quite a witch, as that would be a violation of Oz law, but definitely dabbles with the dark side. When Tip tries to scare her with a pumkinheaded man he built, she brings the being to life, creating Jack Pumpkinhead, and now that she has him she doesn’t need Tip, who she plans to turn into a plaster statue.
Escaping, Tip decides to head to the Emerald City, accompanied by Jack, and a sawhorse that he brought to life with a life-giving powder he’s stolen from Mombi. When Tip falls behind Jack and the sawhorse, who arrive and forge a friendship with the Scarecrow, serving as King of the City, and he meets up with a young female general named Jinjur.
Jinjur is leading the Army of the Revolt, an assembly of women and girls who are tired of male leadership (a thought I was happy to see arrive in this book!) and want to take over the realm and rule, and pry the emeralds from the city as they would serve better in jewelry (sigh, not such a good thing).
Fleeing the city to join the Tin Woodman, in the hope that he’ll help in the retaking of the City. He does, and as they return to the city, they meet up with a human-sized insect, H.M. (Highly Educated) Wogglebug, T.E. (Thoroughly Educated).
Unfortunately, Mombi, working with Jinjur, attempts to thwart them, and with the aid of a Thing, with a head of a gump, and body of a chesterfield and wings, they flee again. This time to the south to see Glinda the Good Witch.
She points out that the throne of Emerald City had been stolen from the original king by the Wizard on his arrival. She believes that neither Jinjur nor Scarecrow have a rightful claim to the throne, but that the daughter of the king, hidden by the Wizard with Mombi’s help, (obviosuly he wasn’t always the nicest guy) is the only rightful ruler.
Everyone agrees that if they can find this princess, one Ozma by name, she will be an acceptable leader, even if she’s young, and the revelation associated with her, was rather enjoyable.
I loved this story, how it opened up the world a bit, and introduced some new and enjoyable characters in the always anxious Jack and the pun delivering Wogglebug, as well as the women tiring of the leadership of men, I was less enthused with the the idea that all of the girls could be scared away by mice, or that they simply wanted to make jewelry out of all the emeralds in the city.
I’m looking forward to the next tale…
Ozma of Oz.