In this sequel to Bewitched in Oz (2015), Zerie and her friends join forces with Ozma against Glinda the apparently-not-so-good.
Readers of the first book will be forgiven for feeling a bit of whiplash, as they spent the first book operating under the understanding that Ozma is evil and Glinda’s the only hope for magic-workers to use their talents in public. Not so! An astonishingly flimsy explanation informs readers and protagonists that Ozma’s ban on magic is a smoke screen to keep magic-workers out of the clutches of Glinda, who has turned traitor. Receiving this inversion of received truth with astonishing ease, Zerie, Vashti, and Tabitha (evidently the only magic-workers Ozma’s subterfuge has uncovered) eagerly accept dangerous missions to support Ozma’s siege of Glinda’s palace. The narrative follows both Zerie, as she joins a small group of merpeople to travel to Quadling Country via underground streams, and Brink, imprisoned in Glinda’s dungeon. Zerie knows she “likes” Brink, but she also finds herself attracted to hot merman Tryan, even cuddling with him while under the influence of underwater poppies. This apparent attempt at a love-triangle subplot makes the story feel like boilerplate teen genre fiction reverse-engineered for a younger audience. Characters are more sets of attributes than people, with the possible exception of the irascible and inscrutable Glass Cat, the only unpredictable element to the book.
Puerile. (Fantasy. 10-14)