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Yellow Fog, The

Volkov, Alexander
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Vladimirski, Leonid
Soviet Russia Publishers

[THE YELLOW FOG] was Volkov’s fifth Magic Land book. Long ago, Hurricap had defeated a wicked giant sorceress named Arachna and had put her to sleep for five thousand years. Now, the five-thousand-year-long sleep has ended and Arachna awakens, as wicked as ever. (This may seem similar to the beginning of Rachel Cosgrove Payes’ THE WICKED WITCH OF OZ, but there is no chance that either influenced the other, as her book had been written twenty years earlier, but was not published until long after Volkov’s death.) Tiny Gnomes, who had attended her during her long sleep, are her only subjects. She attempts to ally Urfin Jus, but he has learned his lesson and refuses her; she has more success with the treacherous Ruf Bilan -- once a traitor, always a traitor. She possesses a flying carpet, and, when that does not enable her to bring the inhabitants of Magic Land under her control, she creates a corrosive yellow fog that envelops most of Magic Land, blocking off the direct sunlight. Arachna does not send the Yellow Fog into Stella or Villina’s territories because she does not wish to irritate these powerful fairies. Although the denizens of the country find a leaf that can counteract the personal damage caused by the fog, Magic Land is threatened with perpetual winter unless they give in to Arachna. Strasheela sends a message to Annie and Tim by a friendly dragon named Oyho, describing the problem, and they, along with their uncle Charlie Black, who has a plan for combating the giantess, ride Oyho back to Magic Land with a load of sheet metal and other things that Charlie Black has had made. Once in Magic Land, Charlie Black directs the creation of a hideous-looking 45-foot metal giant named Tilly-Willy to fight Arachna. When Tilly-Willy takes his first step in Magic Land, he comes to life. Ramina, the mouse Queen, is enlisted to induce her nation of mice to consume the flying carpet so Arachna cannot escape. After many difficulties, Tilly-Willy and his companions catch up with Arachna; with the assistance of the giant eagle Carfax, the two giants confront each other, and Arachna is destroyed. The yellow fog is dispelled; Magic Land returns to normal, and Annie, Tim and Charlie Black return to Kansas. (above information courtesy of Stephen J. Teller)

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