Like so many other fans of the Wizard of Oz I found myself wishing there was more once the movie ended. I wondered what happened to Dorothy. I wondered how the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion were doing back in Oz now that they had their new gifts (brain, heart, courage). I wondered if it really all was just the dream of a little girl hit on the head.
For fifteen years, author David Anthony worked on a trilogy sequel to the Wizard of Oz. He says it took that long because "it was written primarily from his nighttime dreams. Dreams that were so vivid that he felt he was living his days in Kansas and his nights in that magical land beyond the rainbow."
The first book in the series, In Search of Dorothy, begins with the scene in the Emerald City just after Dorothy had clicked her heels 3 times and returned home.
The Scarecrow, who was to assume duties as Emperor of Oz, noticed that something had fallen off Dorothy's ruby slipper when she clicked them together. It was a ruby and it would turn out to have special powers that help get him over the rainbow to Kansas.
The book goes on to introduce us to an old woman who finds the crystal ball that the Wicked Witch of the West had used. She lives near a forest where the flying monkeys still bother people. The crystal ball turns out to be the key in bringing the evil Wicked Witch of the West back to life and power.
There are good things and bad things about the book. The best is that we get to see how the familiar characters we grew to love have been doing since that day when Dorothy returned home. It's a treat to have new stories about these beloved characters and to learn what they have been up to.
The bad part is that the story is a real stretch. Of course the original Wizard of Oz was also a fantasy but it seemed more believable than this.
There are parts of the book that drag on with mundane details and you just want to skip forward pages. Other times you come across a passage that is great reading.
I'm glad the author brought the characters back but wish that the story was a little better and told a little better. I have yet to read book 2 of the trilogy, The Witch's Revenge.
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