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The Purple Prince of Oz

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Purpleprinceofoz
Written by  Ruth Plumly Thompson
Illustrator  John R. Neill
Published  1932
Publisher  Reilly & Lee

The Purple Prince of Oz is the twenty-sixth book in the Oz book series, and the twelfth Oz book written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.

Summary

Tiring of the oppressive routines of royalty, the king of the Gillkin pocket kingdom of Regalia retires to a cave to become a hermit. His son and heir, Prince Randy, must travel through Oz and beyond to complete the seven arduous tasks a Regalian ruler must complete before ascending the throne.

Dressed as a poor mountain boy, Randy first comes to Pumperdink, where he is brought before the king as a suspected vagabond. Kabumpo takes a liking to him, and makes Randy his attendant. Suddenly the entire royal family of Pumperdink disappears, and Kabumpo and Randy barely escape the same fate. The king's brother Kettywig has conspired with the Witch of Follensby Forest to seize the crown by magic.

A soothsayer advises boy and elephant to seek out the red jinn. No one in Oz has heard of such a person; after much searching and various adventures, Randy and Kabumpo reach the red glass castle in the Land of Ev where Jinnicky the Red Jinn resides. Jinnicky proves to be jolly and helpful; the three return to Oz. Randy uses the Jinn's magic looking glasses to find the missing royal family and free them from the witch's spell.

In the end, Randy finds that along the way he has fulfilled the seven requirements of Regalian kingship. In his adventures, he has:

  1. made three true friends
  2. served a strange king
  3. saved a queen
  4. shown bravery in battle
  5. overcome a fabulous monster
  6. disenchanted a princess
  7. and received an important magical treasure from a wizard.

Randy has qualified himself to be king of his homeland.

Background

This is the first of Thompson's books to depend wholly on her own characters, to the neglect of L. Frank Baum's — the start of a trend that continues through several more books. Jinnicky the Red Jinn returns after his introduction in Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, though he is a more genial figure in his second appearance.

Randy, Kabumpo, and Jinnicky later return to action in The Silver Princess in Oz.

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