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There's No Place Like Home The Great Oz Knows Why You Have Come
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|Fairy of the Emerald City, The (The|
The second volume of THE EMERALD CITY: Almost half a century has passed since Ellie first visited Magic Land. Mrs. Elis Smith has long been living in Pennsylvania, where she has been a teacher. After the death of her husband Elis, she continued to teach. (They had no children.) Finally, the aging Mrs. Smith decides to return to Kansas, her old family home, to pass her remaining days. By now, the plains of Kansas have become lifeless. Arriving at the deserted family home, Mrs. Smith unexpectedly encounters three pixies, sent by the Storybook Folk to find the way to Magic Land. Alas, not one of them knows how to get there.
The pixies ask Mrs. Smith, the only person who had ever made the journey, to take them there; to make this possible, they transform her into a young girl again. However, their magic will last for five days only, after which time she will become an old woman again. Therefore, time is of the essence. The only one who can extend her youth permanently and prevent her from dying is Stella, who possesses the secret of eternal youth.
The new companions have just begun their long journey when a strong gale suddenly arises. In the bad weather, they take shelter in another deserted farmhouse. There, they find three live toys, including a small stuffed bear named Tom, who had been brought to life by Corina during one of her visits. Soon three more travelers arrive who are also seeking the way to Torn's Domain: a crippled boy named Donald, a horse, Jerdan, and a dog, Polkan. They join the company.
That night, the farm house is attacked by an army of clay giants led by Corina. The situation of the occupants is becoming desperate when Ellie suddenly feels herself filled with a magic force and becomes a mounted knight. There is no doubt that Villina is helping her from a distance. In the ensuing battle, the clay army is destroyed and Corina flees.
The friends cross the Desert and come to a cleft in the World-Encompassing Mountains. But here they are stopped by an army of Marrans under the command of the now-hostile Iron Woodman, who shouts, "Begone, witch! You are not Ellie, you are an imposter." Standing there beside him, Corina bursts out laughing, and then she brings a rockslide down on the visitors from the Outer World.
Ellie and her friends miraculously escape, but they must find another way in through the World-Encompassing Mountains. They do find such a way, but it is guarded by a Black Dragon sitting on top of an ancient tower. In the tower, Donald finds a magic spyglass and a book, which turns out to be the third of Torn's magic books (Corina, as we know, had found the first two in the previous book of the series). There is only one spell in the book, and it is not clear what it is for or how it is to be used.
The friends manage to dupe the dragon and cross a rope bridge slung over the rocky gorge. Once they are in Magic Land, the friends, with the help of the magic spyglass, soon find their way to Stella's Rose Land, so that the Sorceress can make Ellie eternally young; but it is surrounded by an invisible wall (Corina's handiwork). They go to Violet Land. Ellie quickly discovers that her old friends need her aid. With sadness she learns that the Iron Woodman has fallen ill -- the stone heart which Corina had given him in Book 1 is failing. She also learns that Strasheela has long since been exiled from the Emerald City and has disappeared, no one knew where. Donald, donning Winkie clothing, makes his way into the Violet Palace, but scarcely has he met the Woodman than he falls into Corina's power. But the shrewd witch not only does not punish him, she uses her magic to give him health and good looks and to heal his disabled legs. She also promises to make him a king. In gratitude, Donald turns on Ellie and, after returning to where she is awaiting him, he guilefully lures her into a wood, where Corina and Nark the wolf are expecting her. The witch then tries to do away with Ellie, but all her efforts fail. Ellie realizes at last the true power of the last spell of Torn: it will neutralize all other spells. Consequently Corina can no longer frighten Ellie -- in fact, it is the other way around.
Terrified, Corina flees to the Emerald City, which is guarded by Black Dragons led by Varag. Donald, who has had second thoughts, finds the Iron Woodman and saves him by replacing Corina's stone heart with a silken one once again. Then he hurries to Rose Land, whose invisible wall is now gone, to find Stella. It is the end of the five days of youth which the pixies had given Ellie. She is prepared to become old once again when a golden cloud appears in the sky, and on it are Stella and the Lion. The sorceress gives Ellie eternal youth, and declares from then on she will remain permanently in Magic Land. In her final combat with Corina, Ellie, with Villina's help, again becomes a mounted knight, and the combat is fiercely fought, until Donald intervenes. Corina's price for undoing her evil magic is that the boy stay with her, and the two of them depart at once for the Gorge of the Black Dragons. The inhabitants of the Emerald City want Ellie to become their Queen.
Strasheela, who has returned, likewise wants that, but Ellie declares that she wishes only to be known as the Fairy of the Emerald City.
Synopsis courtesy of Peter Blystone
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