Review of Oz Book 10: Rinkitink in Oz (1916)
The tenth book of Oz was released in 1916. It was called Rinkitink in Oz.
This book is an interesting entry in the series which makes for interesting reading. The bulk of this book was written 11 years prior to publication in 1905. It was intended as a separate fantasy story not a part of the main Oz books. This is clearly evident as you begin reading the book. I wasn’t aware of this fact, so when I started reading I kept checking to make sure I was reading the correct book. I had downloaded the eBook from Project Gutenberg and thought that maybe I had downloaded a book other than the one I intended. Nope, it was clearly Rinkitink in Oz.
The story begins on the island of Pingaree. Many years prior to this story, the King of Pingaree repelled an invasion with the help of three magical pearls given to him by the Mermaids. Presently, the King passed down the secret of the pearls to his son, Inga. Just after, the island is again invaded by the two neighboring islands that had attacked before and this time they catch the King off guard and he can’t get to the pearls in time to save his people. The island is sacked and the people all become slaves. The only ones not taken into slavery are the prince, Inga, the visiting King Rinkitink of Gilgad and his surly goat, Bilbil. Inga retrieves the pearls from the wreckage of the castle, hides two of them in the toes of his shoes and places the third around his neck on a necklace. The motley group lead by Inga then heads off to the invading islands to free his parents and his people.
What follows is a very entertaining story involving Inga and Rinkitink using the pearls to outwit and defeat the notorious armies of Regos and Coregos. After the first page or so mentioning where these lands are in relation to Oz, there is literally no mention of Oz again until the very end of the book. Inga discovers his parents have been put under the care of the newest Nome King, Kaliko, so he travels to the Nome King’s lands in Oz to retrieve them. After this a few other familiar faces show up and, even though I really liked the story, I thought it wrapped up a little too “neatly”. It’s like Baum had no ending and just shoe horned in some of his Oz characters as a deus ex machina.
Overall, though, like I said this was a very entertaining story that went to several very fun places and incorporated some cool magic and fantasy elements. I’ll be interested to see if King Rinkitink, Inga or any of the Pingaree royal family show up again in the Baum Oz books, of which I now only have 4 left to read. Odds are, though, I’m guessing they won’t.