It has been mentioned before in this series how no one in Oz ever dies, but I think it is only in this book that it has really penetrated my brain that no one ever ages there either.
I don’t really get how that works, since we know that Ozma was a baby when she was given away to wicked Mumbi the witch (by the Wizard, no less! He really hasn’t caught enough flack for that evilness, as the series has gone along), and she is now a girl somewhere around Dorothy’s pre-teen age, but apparently everything was normal in Oz until a fairy randomly put a spell on the land leading to this ongoing immortality, and which may mean that Ozma was stuck under Mumbi’s thumb (and as a boy) for much longer than I previously thought.
But it is due to this spell that the Tin Woodman was able to be made tin since, somewhat horrifically, his human body was replaced piece-by-piece by tin prostheses, until at last he was all tin all the time. This tale is revisited here, and an oversight from the very first Oz book revisited: what ever happened to the young maid servant he loved so well, and and wanted to marry so badly, that her witchy guardian cursed his axe to keep cutting off his body parts?
Belatedly recalled to his duty to her, the Tin Woodsman sets off to find her, in company with his old friend Scarecrow and new friend Woot, and the three get up to all kinds of shenanigans, while also there is a whole lot of overt Frankenstein and Island of Dr. Moreau imagery.
It’s actually pretty cool.
I did feel for Woot most of the time, however, since he is actually quite sensible, and no one in Oz can possibly fare well with that kind of attitude. I’m also unclear about Dorothy and Ozma’s role here, since they basically just seemed to be tuning into the quest to see how badly it was going every day, and then didn’t step in to help until after everything was all resolved (I guess the Emerald City doesn’t get cable; one thing Baum didn’t invent), but for the most part, this was a super-fun romp through the marvellous land of Oz, and I liked it a lot.
Bring on Book 13!
TBR DAY 124: The Tin Woodman of Oz (Oz #12) by L. Frank Baum
GENRE: Children’s Fiction, Classics
TIME ON THE TBR: 3 years.
PURCHASED FROM: Amazon.