Glinda of Oz

by L. Frank Baum
Series: Oz 14
Reviewed date: 2020 Jun 2
255 pages
cover art

Ozma journeys to a distant corner of Gillikin country in Oz to stop a war between the Flatheads and the Skeezers. She takes Dorothy with her.

The Flatheads live on the top of a mountain. They have flat heads with no space for brains, so they must carry their brains in cans. The Supreme Dictator of the Flatheads (Su-Dic for short) is preparing to wage war on the nearby Skeezers because the Skeezers will not let the Flatheads fish in their lake. The Su-Dic is thoroughly disagreeable.

The Skeezers live in a glass-domed city in the middle of a small lake. Their ruler is as disagreeable as the Su-Dic: Queen Coo-ee-oh is a cruel magician who stole her magic from the three Adepts, who built the glass-domed city for the Skeezers..

Ozma proves ineffectual. First she and Dorothy meet with the Flatheads and barely escape when the Su-Dic orders them imprisoned. Next they head to the Skeezer city, where Queen Coo-ee-oh imprisons them (and all the Skeezers) by sinking the entire glass domed Skeezer city into the lake. The Su-Dic's army--camped on the edge of the lake--is unable to reach the sunken city to conquer it, but Queen Coo-ee-oh unwisely leaves the city in a submarine to parley with the Su-Dic. The Su-Dic turns Coo-ee-oh into a swan. Then he leaves.

So, to recap: Ozma fails to stop the war. She gets herself and Dorothy taken prisoner. And she lets Queen Coo-ee-oh sink an entire glass-domed city full of people to the bottom of a lake. And then Queen Coo-ee-oh--the only person with the magical knowledge to raise the city--gets transformed into a bird.

This is the girl ruler entrusted to care for the citizens of Oz?

Glinda the Good leads a rescue party. All our favorite friends come along. There's a lot of fuss about the difference between fairy magic, sorcery, wizardry, and other various sorts of powers. It's not very convincing if you ask me, but nobody asked me.

In the end, it's the Patchwork Girl who suggests that Glinda use magic to lower the water level in the lake. Glinda does, just enough that the top of the glass dome peaks above the surface. Then they take a boat out, open a hole in the dome, and enter. Once inside, Glinda and Ozma and everyone figure out how to raise the city.

Ozma installs a new, good Queen for the Skeezers. And for the Flatheads, their canned brains are put back into their heads, which are no longer flat--so now they are called Mountaineers.

The end.

It's not a bad Oz book, but not great. Kind of middling.

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