Ozma of Oz

by L. Frank Baum
Series: Oz 3
Reviewed date: 2010 Feb 22
272 pages
cover art

The third Oz book isn't my favorite sequel (that would be either The Marvelous Land of Oz or Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz), but it has one of the most memorable incidents: Dorothy turning Nome soldiers into eggs.

A violent storm at seas washes Dorothy overboard, and she finds herself a castaway in the fairy land of Ev. For a companion she has the hen Billina. They first meet the Wheelers, who threaten them. Tik-tok, the mechanical man, rescues Dorothy and Billina from the Wheelers, but they are soon captured by the wicked Princess Langwidere.

When all seems lost, Ozma and the gang from Oz cross the great desert and arrive in Ev. Ozma rescues Dorothy, Billina, and Tik-tok, and then they all set out for Nome country to rescue the royal family of Ev from the evil Nome king.

The Nome king has transformed the entire royal family of Ev into ornaments to decorate his palace. He offers the rescuers from Oz a deal: they may guess which of the ornaments are the royal family of Ev. If they guess right, they and the royal family are free to go. If they guess wrong, the Ozians will become ornaments as well.

One by one the Ozians make their guesses, and one by one they fail and become ornaments in the Nome king's palace. Except for Billina: she overhears the Nome king boasting about how he has turned the Ev royal family into purple ornaments, the Ozians into green ornaments, and so forth. When it is her turn, she guesses correctly and frees all the prisoners.

The Nome king tries to go back on his word, but Billina saves the day again: the Scarecrow throws her eggs (which are poison to Nomes) at the Nome king. In the ensuing scuffle, Dorothy steals the king's magic belt, stripping him of his power. The king orders his army to attack, but Dorothy turns a few soldiers into eggs, and the rest flee.

Prince Evardo takes his place as ruler of Ev. The Ozians return to the Emerald City. After some celebrating, Dorothy realizes she must return home. She gives the magic belt to Ozma, and Ozma uses the belt to send her back to her Uncle Henry.

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