Monday, March 09, 2015
Volkov-thon: The Seven Underground Kings
Now, one thing Volkov did quite differently from Baum was setting up a backstory. In Baum's books, things are there, and why they're there isn't always explored.
At the start of The Seven Underground Kings, Volkov takes us back to the Land of the Underground Ore-Diggers, explaining why these people live underground. They have seven brothers for kings, and they each one rule one month in turn and each king has his own court. This was very draining on the resources of the Underground Land until they discovered the Soporific Water, which makes someone enter a sleep for a time and when they awaken, they have to be reeducated on who they are. (Basically, Volkov's take on the Water of Oblivion.) The Kings agree that to ease the burden on the kingdom, they and their courts will use the water and sleep in between their reigns.
After the Kings are reeducated, the end of Underground Land arrives. It is decided that it would be best if the Underground people didn't stay underground and move to the surface. They agree to this, though given that many of them are used to living with low light, they will need to adjust to living in the sunlight.
More importantly, Volkov was able to put an end to Ellie's adventures and send her home, while Baum had Dorothy move to Oz. Yet the stories of Magic Land were not concluded. Volkov wrote three more books in his series, so how would they continue?