Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Starglory of Oz

One early Oz pastiches was called Song of Oz and was one of the first books to help publisher Buckethead Enterprises of Oz gain credence as a legitimate publisher of Oz books.

While author Jeff Barstock quickly turned out another Oz book, it was twelve years before it saw print at last as Starglory of Oz.

Now, I haven't read Song of Oz yet, but this story didn't strike me as reliant on that one. What did strike me when we were introduced to the villain of the tale is that the story must be set in between The Emerald City of Oz and Tik-Tok of Oz.

The story takes a page from The Chronicles of Narnia by making stars into actual people. This one follows a star girl who has somehow fallen to earth and meets a stone man she calls Silic. (Short for "Silica.") Silic can't be too far from his underground home, but offers to help the girl, who he calls "Starglory," find her way back home.

After a few hardships (during which Starglory turns into a true light form, producing a lightwheel they later name "Clyde"), they come across an abandoned amusement park. But soon a Coal Mine-themed ride takes them to the underground lair of the Nome King Ruggedo, who has been waiting for Starglory as part of a plot to take revenge on Ozma.

The story was, I thought, very beautiful, with the way the two characters of Starglory and Silic act off of each other and truly care about each other, but something felt off, and it wasn't until after I read the book that I realized that there was no humor in the story at all. Jeff wrote a very solid story, don't get me wrong, but humor is one of the trademarks of an Oz book. At least he manages to be rather fanciful.

Marcus Mebes illustrated the book and this is a great illustration job, matching the text very well. Marcus' characters look very realistic while also retaining their classic John R. Neill designs.

You can get a copy of the book here.

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