Rinkitink in Oz

by L. Frank Baum

Other authorsJohn R. Neill (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1993



Call number




Dover Publications (1993), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages


Classic Literature. Fantasy. Juvenile Fiction. HTML: Like many of author L. Frank Baum's Oz and non-Oz novels, Rinkitink in Oz is a quest story that follows King Rinkitink and his traveling companion Princess Inga on a long and perilous journey through the land of the Nomes, and finally, to Oz itself. Although most of the action in the novel is only tangentially related to the primary cast of well-known Oz characters, Baum's rich imagination shines through, making this an engaging read for fans of the fantasy fiction genre..

User reviews

LibraryThing member SoulFlower1981
Baum has definitely refound his footing as an author when it comes to the Oz books. He has found a formula that allows him to tell other stories, but still have them take place in the world of Oz. Some of his issues it appeared to be previously is he didn't want to continue Oz stories, but didn't
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recognize that he could tell stories about other countries by just including the last part of the book taking place in Oz, which is what he has done in the last few books. In this one it appears for the majority of the book oz will not be seen at all, but then finally in the final few paragraphs we see Dorothy and many of the other favorites of the series.

This story is one of his better stories as well because it is a mystical adventure where he created magic items that are simplistic in nature but also are ingenious. In this story the Prince of Pinagree (Inga) inherits three magical pearls that give him various powers. This allows him to complete many feats that others could not and as a result he works to free his family and rebuild his own kingdom. Baum created a story of friendship between countries, people, and how one can have a simple adventure story without blood and gore.

Parents would find this series to be ideal for their children because it keeps the imagination active for a child, but also teaches them various lessons about not being mean to others, not being envious, and other important lessons that children need to have. As an adult you will take some things away from it as well, but you will take less away morally and probably be like me where I just enjoyed a great adventure story that was a quick read. I highly recommend this book for anyone just wanting some good pleasure reading.
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LibraryThing member ElizabethChapman
This book is quite simply wonderful. It may actually be a disadvantage for its reputation that it is part of the Oz series. People looking for another story about Dorothy will be disappointed and Rinkitink may have suffered as a result. But anyone searching for a genuinely enchanting tale for
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children (or precocious adults) will be delighted.

Fantastic characters, a fabulous story, and three magic pearls that I'd give my eye teeth to own make "Rinkitink" a real keeper. One of my favorite childhood books and one that I enjoy just as much now that I'm an adult.
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LibraryThing member nx74defiant
The adventures of the jolly monarch Rinkitink and his talking goat Bilbil, who arrive on the island kingdom of Pingaree only to be caught in the middle of a war between Pingaree and a neighboring kingdom.
LibraryThing member saroz
If Baum had just had the courage of his convictions - or not been looking to make a quick buck - we might laud King Rinkitink as the best of his non-Oz fantasies today. As it is, we don't know why he abandoned the book originally, but he chose to revive it as an Oz story by slapping a brand new
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ending on that functioned as a deus ex machina, reintroducing favorite old characters and dragging everyone to the Emerald City. Effectively, it ruins what has up to that point been a superlative fantasy-adventure novel. I didn't like the book much as a child because there wasn't a lot of Oz in it, but today, I can see it for what it is. I wish I could read Baum's original version because I'm sure that was even better.
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LibraryThing member Stevil2001
Rinkitink in Oz, like The Scarecrow of Oz opens outside of Oz and mostly takes place there, too. The protagonist is Prince Inga of Pingaree; his peaceful island nation is sacked by raiders from the islands of Regos and Coregos, and his parents kidnapped. Along with King Rinkitink of Rinkitink and
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the king's talking goat Bilbil, Inga has to travel to Regos and Coregos to liberate his people, and then go to the Nome Kingdom to find his parents. Near the end, though, Dorothy and the Wizard come to help him, and the character briefly visit Oz.

I didn't know the circumstances of this book's creation when I was a child. Baum wrote what was initially called King Rinkitink around 1905, after he had written just two Oz books, and a few non-Oz fantasies, including The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. He never published King Rinkitink, though, and thus when he didn't have time to write a new Oz book in 1916, he pulled King Rinkitink out of a drawer, edited some of the continuity to make it fit what had happened in the Oz books (particularly the deposition of the Nome King in Tik-Tok of Oz), and totally replaced the ending so that Dorothy showed up to save the day. (He must have been thinking of somehow incorporating Rinkitink into the Oz mythos for some time, though, since the countries from it all appear on the map in the Tik-Tok endpapers, published in 1914.)

Something I never noticed until reading it aloud to a three-year-old is that it's very different tonally from most other Oz books. The dangers in Oz books are often very abstract, things that it's hard to be scared of. But in Rinkitink, the raiders from Regos and Coregos go around destroying buildings and whole societies; Inga's parents are constantly being threatened with destruction. It's more of a boy's adventure story than the gentle fantasies of most Oz novels. My son reacted very strongly to this, often crying out "no!" and hiding under the sheets as I read and telling me it was very scary. Though when I asked if I should stop reading it, he said, "No, I like being scared." But still he continued to react strongly, and it was enough that my wife suggested that maybe I shouldn't be reading him the Oz books until he is older. But my memory is that Rinkitink is very much an outlier in this way, and if we got through it, things ought to return to normal.

I asked my son what he thought of it when we were done, and he said, "I liked the good parts and didn't like the bad parts." Well, fair enough. The "bad parts," on probing, were any time anything was destroyed, or anyone was threatened with destruction. The good parts were all the rest of it.

I don't really remember what I thought of the book as a kid, but I enjoyed it as an adult. Baum has a tendency to undercut his protagonists, but here, even though Inga is aided by some Magic Pearls (given to his ancestors by a mermaid queen, presumably the same one we met in The Sea Fairies), he shows himself to be brave, resourceful, and clever, reasoning his own way out of many of the tricky situations he ends up in. Dorothy saving him in the ending is a little frustrating, but before that, Inga has managed to escape death at the hands of the Nome King many times, and I didn't find it too bad. What did bother me is that the King of Regos and Queen of Coregos die off-page through the total happenstance of their boat hitting a storm! No comeuppance for Inga there.

Unfortunately, the original manuscript to King Rinkitink no longer exists, so we don't know how Inga would have saved his parents without Dorothy's intervention. The International Wizard of Oz Club ran a competition in 2017 for fans to come up with an alternative ending without Oz elements, and published the winner as a new edition called King Rinkitink; I'll have to check it out at some point.

If King Rinkitink had been published when originally intended, it would have been the first appearance of the Nome King (aside from a minor cameo in Life and Adventures of Santa Claus), but by the time Rinkitink in Oz came out, the Nomes had been the antagonists in three Oz novels: Ozma, Emerald City, and Tik-Tok. In Tik-Tok, the original Nome King, Ruggedo né Roquat, is deposed, and he is replaced by his own chief steward, Kaliko. As a result, Baum seemingly just went through the Rinkitink manuscript and replaced the name. Some people argue that this results in a discontinuity: Kaliko is a nicer ruler in Tik-Tok than Ruggedo had been, but in Rinkitink, he enchants Inga's parents and will not let them go. I think people who argue this, though, are overlooking that Kaliko is not "nicer" in the sense that he is a "good person" overall. Rather, Kaliko is "nicer" in two ways: one, he is less cruel toward the Nomes themselves and thus a more popular ruler, and two, he is more deferential to people from Oz because they have more power than the Nomes and have defeated them on many occasions. Kaliko has no reason to be nice to Inga, and indeed, being nice to Inga would require him to break his word to Regos and Coregos, and we know from Ozma of Oz the extent to which Nomes will go to keep their deals. But as soon as Dorothy and the Wizard show up, Kaliko is highly deferential. It's all politics! As always, I enjoyed getting to use my very snobby-but-deferential Kaliko voice, especially with Kaliko being king. I had him always saying quite terrible things to Inga and Rinkitink, but sounding very apologetic in doing so.

Note that the Wizard considers Bilbil very unusual because he's a talking animal even though he's never been to Oz... but he meets Bilbil in the Nome Kingdom, which lies underneath the Land of Ev, and in Ozma of Oz the ordinary American chicken Billina becomes capable of speech when she arrives in Ev. 

The other thing that occurred to me on this read is that people from Pingaree age normally. This would be quite sad if you think about it: Inga may be good friends with Dorothy now because they are seemingly the same age, but in another couple decades, Dorothy will still be about ten while Inga will be an adult, and by the present day, Dorothy will still be about ten... but Inga will be dead! Dorothy may live forever, but she can never be friends with someone from outside Oz. I am given to understand, though, that Inga does return in Sherwood Smith's Trouble under Oz (2006), so I am curious to see how she handles this issue. Only forty-two more books until we find out!
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LibraryThing member AliceAnna
I feel sorry for L. Frank Baum. Dorothy was so popular that his audience clamored for more of her, but this book proves that she really is not needed. A very entertaining story in which Baum brings in Dorothy at the end simply to make his readers happy. The story could easily have been written
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without her and would probably have been even better. I enjoyed Rinkitink and Bilbil very much. And Prince Inga was a strong serious heroic character who shouldn't have needed any help from Oz. I wish he'd been able to write what he wanted and not what his audience demanded because his imagination really knew no bounds.
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LibraryThing member claidheamdanns
Probably one of my least favorites. King Rinkintink and his songs and laughter were extremely annoying!



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0486277569 / 9780486277561


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