The Marvelous Land of Oz
Series: Oz 2
Reviewed date: 2010 Feb 5
L. Frank Baum wrote a whole series of Oz books. The Marvelous Land of Oz is the second book, after the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dorothy doesn't appear in the book, but the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and Glinda feature prominently. The Cowardly Lion rates only a single passing mention. Curious.
The main character is Tip, a young boy raised by an old witch named Mombi. Mombi is cruel to him, and Tip tries to scare her by creating a grotesque caricature of a man out of a carved pumpkin head and a rough-hewn wooden body. The joke backfires when Mombi uses some Powder of Life to bring the creature to life. Mombi intends to turn Tip into a stone statue and have Jack Pumpkinhead do the household chores.
Tip escapes, taking Jack Pumpkinhead and Mombi's Powder of Life with him. Tip and Jack make their way toward the Emerald City. Because Jack's wooden body is ill-suited for walking, Tip brings a Sawhorse to life with old Mombi's powder. Jack rides upon the Sawhorse, thus sparing his legs.
Well, the troupe soon runs into trouble. They arrive at the Emerald City and meet the Scarecrow. However, the Emerald City is overrun by the Army of Revolt, an insurrection of girls led by General Jinjur. Tip, Jack, and the Scarecrow escape on the Sawhorse and go to the Tin Woodman in Winkie country for help. The Tin Woodman agrees to help them retake the Emerald City--which they do.
The counter-revolution is short-lived. Jinjur and her all-girl army attack, again trapping our heroes inside the palace. This time they escape through the air. They craft a flying creature out of two sofas, some palm branches for wings, and the mounted head of a Gump, and bring it to life with the last of Tip's Powder of Life. After many adventures, the Gump carries them all to Glinda's palace in Quadling Country.
Glinda refuses to overthrow Jinjur and return the Scarecrow to the throne, for the Scarecrow is just as much an interloper as Jinjur. The real claim to the throne lies with Princess Ozma, the lost daughter of the late King Pastoria, from whom the humbug Wizard stole the throne. Glinda deduces that Princess Ozma was hidden years ago by old Mombi, who is now an advisor to General Jinjur. Glinda takes her army to the Emerald City and demand that Jinjur deliver up old Mombi.
Jinjur and Mombi equivocate, but eventually Mombi is captured and forced to reveal the truth: Princess Ozma is none other than the boy Tip! Mombi transforms Tip back into Ozma, and she is installed as the rightful ruler. The Scarecrow is glad to be rid of the stresses of being a King, and he accompanies the Tin Woodman back to Winkie Country. Mombi is forced to give up magic forever, the Gump's head gets returned to its place on the wall. Jack Pumpkinhead and the Wogglebug remain as Ozma's guests in the Emerald City. The Sawhorse becomes Ozma's favorite riding horse. Jinjur is sent back to her mother to make beds and wash dishes.