So, after finishing Book 3, Ozma of Oz, I have officially read the first trilogy of books and I have finished the initial set of Books of Wonder paperbacks I got off Paperbackswap.com. From here on out I actually have to obtain the books either from the library, Chamblin Bookmine or through my Nook. There are also tons of free ebooks of the Oz books I can download from places like FreeEpubBooks.com or ManyBooks.net. However, those free ebooks are text only. You don’t get the illustrations which, for me, is half the story (Yes, I’m an Oz nerd). So, I went searching in the Nook Store and found an illustrated ebook copy of the fourth Oz book, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz for 99 cents. And I pulled the trigger. And I read it on my Nook. Let’s take a look at that book.
Published in 1908, it was by this time that Baum had resigned himself to writing the Oz books. Before now, he had hoped to write of other lands and tales but due to the popularity of Oz, he had to keep returning to that land.
This book reunites the humbug Wizard from the first book with Dorothy Gale, who returned in the last book. The book begins with Dorothy arriving in California from Australia, where she went at the end of book 3. She is back in America to visit Henry at a Ranch on the California coast. She strikes up a friendship with the ranch owner’s nephew and they travel together. While traveling, the group is swallowed up by an earthquake and they fall into a fairy land beneath the Earth. Like in the last book, the majority of this book does not actually take place in Oz (despite the name of the book). The majority of the adventures actually take place in a few unnamed fairy lands as our characters try to make their way to Oz after falling through the earthquake.
Dorothy and friends first encounter a “vegetable people” who try to put them to death, but the Wizard falls to the ground in a hot air balloon just in time. The Wizard challenges the reigning sorceror and actually takes a sword and slices him in half like a potato. The group flee from there and head into a valley where all the people are invisible. And the reason all the people are invisible is to protect them against all of the invisible bears that keep attacking and eating people (I swear I am not kidding about that). The group goes from the valley into the mountains where they meet a crazy old man who makes holes (Yes. HOLES. Again, not kidding). They travel from there to the land of the Gargoyles. The Gargoyles are small creatures made entirely out of wood. It’s actually a pretty cool idea when you read it in the book as Baum gets very intricate about how literally these creatures are made.