Saturday, November 26, 2016

This Week's Oz Short Story

The next tale from A New Wonderland was "The Wicked Wizard and the Princess Truella". A princess has a problem, help is sought from the Sorceress Maëtta, and all works out well in the end. Sound familiar? This story does indeed share a few similarities to "Timtom and the Princess Pattycake", Timtom (now a prince at court) even suggests the visit to Maëtta. But in this case it is princess Truella herself seeking help, because a wicked wizard who lives in the far off mountains stole her big toe to be used in a spell. Well, if you need the big toe of a princess, there aren't a lot of other places to get one! After her conference with Maëtta, Truella gets her toe back after undergoing several trials—as if there were ever any doubts. What struck me about this story is how many bits later show up in Oz. Truella, for instance, has a swan she uses to get to Maëtta's palace, a predecessor of Glinda's swan chariot. Truella's trials in the wizard's caverns presage several trips into the Nome King's dominions, particularly Inga and Rinkitink's trials when they are separated in Rinkitink in Oz. The wicked wizard himself is something of a prototype of the Nome King, working by himself in a ruby cavern and not thinking much of other people. All in all, another fun story, but I am a little suspicious of how Maëtta was able to give Truella exactly the right things needed to defeat the wizard.

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