Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Latest Oz Reading

Yes, I'm reading more Oz, or at least Oz-related, books right now. And now that I'm on my spring break, I suspect I'll get quite a few more read in the coming weeks. Here's what I've read most recently:

  • Love's Serenade by Rachel Cosgrove Payes. The fourth volume in her romance series about the seven Lassiter sisters. With thee sisters married and the twins engaged, it must be Electra's turn! And sure enough, she's checking out all the boys in Brighton, particularly the wounded soldiers coming back from the Napoleonic War. But she has some big problems with the morose Captain Bothemer, who is convinced he's crippled for life, and therefore not worthy of much of anything. Of course, you all can probably see already how this is going to turn out, and you're right. For once, however, I didn't quite enjoy this book as much as her other romances. Everyone is just standing (or in the case of Captain Bothemer, sitting) around talking about their problems and how they feel about each other way too much, and there's not a lot of growth or character development until only about the final fourth of the book. But as always, it works out in the end, and now there's just one more sister left to marry off. But May (the youngest) gets her chances to shine in this book, as she doesn't have so many sisters around to share the action with any more, and she's finally starting to notice boys (although I doubt she's ever going to give up her love of horses).
  • My reread, in anticipation of the author's appearance at this summer's Winkie Convention, is Paradox in Oz by Edward Einhorn. I've always said that this is one of my favorite books outside of the Famous Forty, and this just confirms that assessment. The spell that stops Ozians from aging has run out, and Ozma decides to investigate why, and restore it if possible. Research shows that she needs to find The Man Who Lives Backwards, who's now a baby, and so she must go back in time to meet him as a man. As this is impossible, a parrot-ox named Tempus is able to take her, as he can only do impossible things. But in the past, Ozma inadvertently changes the history of Oz! Fortunately, she's able to fix things in the end, with the help of Tempus, Glinda, and Mombi, the Good Witch of the North (no, that is not a typo; I told you Ozma changed h-Oz-tory). I've always been a fan of time travel stories, and Einhorn knows all the tricks about them and uses them well in this book. And because of some of the weird twisted logic of this tale, I think I got more out of it now than I did before, just because it helps to reread it. And Ozma gets to have an all too rare adventure on her own as well. I hope this gets reprinted before the convention, because I'm sure there are some people who would like to get an autographed copy there. (I was surprised to find my copy was already autographed, as I'd forgotten that I'd already met Einhorn at the 2000 Centennial Convention. But I'm still taking my copy to the Winkie Convention, as I haven't gotten it signed by illustrator Eric Shanower yet!)
I'm currently reading another vintage book by a Famous Forty writer, but as I'm going out of town for a few days, and it's an old and hard-to-come-by book, I am instead going to start another book later today as I travel across the state. But I should be done with both of them soon.

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