I said I was going to take advantage of the long weekend to read a long story, and that's just what I did when I read the first story in the 1975 edition of Oziana, "The Romance of the Ruby Slippers" by Laura Jane Musser. We get some background information on the Silver Slippers, as it turns out they were made for Princess Zephyra, who controls gentle spring and summer winds. But after they fell off Dorothy's feet at the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, they were recovered by Sandrika, a sand witch who has a small kingdom in the Deadly Desert near Ev. She is cruel and ambitious, and has plans to use the Slippers for her own nefarious means. So Dorothy goes undercover in Sandrika's sand castle as her new servant in an attempt to regain the Silver Slippers. But things start to go very wrong when Sandrika takes Dorothy on a visit to her cousin, Princes Langwidere of Ev. Langwidere is wearing head number seventeen, which is the one she was wearing when Dorothy first visited Ev so many years ago.
It's fitting that this story, being so long, is a sweeping epic with an exotic castle in the middle of the Deadly Desert, a storm queen, and high stakes. The characters do like to talk a lot, however, explaining things in epic monologues, sometimes when people aren't even around to hear them. But Dorothy is still plucky and brave and deals with a lot of big events, and naturally all comes out well in the end. We even find out more about the Silver Slippers and what they can do.
Next week, 1976 begins!