The True Mortal and the Rainbow

Polychrome: A Romantic Fantasy, by Rik E. Spoor – Every once in a while, there will be an attempt at a more adult Oz story, addressing topics that L. Frank Baum and his successors would not have incorporated into children’s books. While this is often done by totally transforming Oz into a totally different and often dark place with some similarities to the fairyland we know, Spoor manages to avoid this for the most part, instead remaining quite true to what Baum had written. Well, this isn’t entirely true, as he claimed that Baum censored some things and changed others to make them sillier. For instance, Spoor changes King Rinkitink and Lord Pinkerbloo’s names to the somewhat less goofy Rin Ki-Tin and Inkerbleu. And the Lavender Bear said specifically in The Lost Princess of Oz that the Little Pink Bear couldn’t tell the future, while here he’s used as an oracle. Still, we see the conclusions to a lot of loose ends from the series, like the fates of Ugu the Shoemaker, Mrs. Yoop, and Ruggedo. The plot involves Ugu and Mrs. Yoop conquering Oz, and Polychrome seeking help from a mortal to restore it. The chosen one turns out to be Erik Medon, an asthmatic American adult who has read the Oz books, and not surprisingly develops feelings for Polychrome. He spends some time in the sky training to become a warrior, and his mortal status is actually an asset because it means his physical substance is somewhat different from that of fairy beings. Sort of a Matrix kind of thing, I suppose. While it doesn’t entirely fit in with my unified vision of Oz, there’s quite a lot to like here. The illustrations are too sparse for an Oz book (I’m not sure if there are more in the print edition; I read the PDF version), but the ones that are there are excellent.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews, L. Frank Baum, Oz, Oz Authors and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The True Mortal and the Rainbow

  1. Joe says:

    I was wondering when this book would come out. The author had a Kickstarter campaign for it. I’ll grab it on Amazon.

  2. Pingback: The Royal Ships of Oz | VoVatia

  3. Ryk Spoor says:

    I missed this review when it came out, but thanks so much for the kind words!

    No, there were only the four illustrations as I had to pay for each one, and my resources were (as one might imagine) rather constrained. I’ve toyed with having more done, but with Polychrome now fairly long-out I don’t know if there’d be much of a point.

    I *have* been recording chapters of Polychrome as rewards for the top tier of my Patreon, and I’ll be releasing those to the general public starting soon.

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