Read Queen Zixi of Ix: or the Story of the Magic Cloak by L. Frank Baum Martin Gardner Frederick Richardson Online


When the renowned author of the wonderful Oz stories surpasses himself with a full-blown fairy tale, complete with magic wishes, palace life, an evil hag, and a poor boy and girl, we know we are in for something exceptional in storytelling. "In some ways," Baum confided to his son, "Queen Zixi is my best effort." The critic Edward Wagenknecht goes further, terming it flatlWhen the renowned author of the wonderful Oz stories surpasses himself with a full-blown fairy tale, complete with magic wishes, palace life, an evil hag, and a poor boy and girl, we know we are in for something exceptional in storytelling. "In some ways," Baum confided to his son, "Queen Zixi is my best effort." The critic Edward Wagenknecht goes further, terming it flatly one of the best fairy tales ever written by anyone.The master tale-spinner captures suspenseful attention at once with a magic wishing cloak which the fairies decide to give to the first unhappy mortal — man, woman, or child — their emissary chance to meet. At the same time, the King of Noland has died without heir, and the law says the new King shall be the forty-seventh person who happens to pass through the city gates that day. In the neighboring kingdom of Ix, malevolent Queen Zixi, six hundred and eighty-three years old and smug in the secrets of witchcraft, craves that magic cloak with all her evil heart. And that morning, a humble ferryman's son, Bud, happens to be on his way to the city with his pretty sister Fluff …All who know the enchantment that a real fairy tale can hold for a child will recognize here the ingredients of a spellbinder. Add to them the well-known gifts of the author in creating captivating characters, sparkling fantasy, rich humor, and inventive absurdity, and a true classic of juvenile literature emerges to fascinate both child and parent. An added delight is the inclusion of all 90 of the original illustrations by Frederick Richardson, straight from the pages of St. Nicholas Magazine, where this tale was originally serialized....

Title : Queen Zixi of Ix: or the Story of the Magic Cloak
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780486226910
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Queen Zixi of Ix: or the Story of the Magic Cloak Reviews

  • Morgan
    2019-04-10 22:32

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this story because it's one of Baum's non-Oz books, but I actually liked it more than I thought. Some of the character do appear as cameos in the Oz books and this has connections with Baum's Santa book as well, but you can read this without knowing about either story. I thought this was a good fantasy story though.

  • Ness
    2019-04-05 23:33

    I read many of Mr. Baum's books as a kid and remember enjoying them. When I came across this one it seemed time to read one of his stories again. I don't think I'd come across this one before, and it has such a lovely fairy tale feel that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Lynn K.
    2019-04-13 17:07

    One of Baum's best novels ,besides the Wizard of Oz books, this stand alone story is chock full of moral teachings that everyone (children and adults alike) should know. Some of them can be summarized as follows: Don't Be A Jerk. Be Careful What You Wish For. The Easy Way Is Not Always The Best Way.

  • Christie Crook
    2019-04-04 22:22

    Great Book While this book isn’t about OZ it is about inhabitants of other fairy lands. Those inhabitants do visit OZ at least once during the series. This is the story of how they came to be.

  • Sarah Mch
    2019-04-05 19:22

    I absolutely loved this book, and I think it's a shame it's not more well known. Baum did a great job with how zany the story is and though it isn't Oz, it's still wonderful.

  • Chicco Padovan
    2019-04-16 21:30

    Su L. Frank Baum non dirò nulla: è il papà de Il meraviglioso mago di Oz e tanto basta. Per quanto riguarda La storia del mantello magico, invece, ecco come lo stesso autore parlava del manoscritto in una lettera indirizzata a suo figlio maggiore.[…] È il mio lavoro migliore. Più vicino alle fiabe vecchio stile di qualunque cosa abbia scritto sinora.Ora, che questo libro sia migliore de Il meraviglioso mago di Oz non mi vede proprio d’accordo, rimane il fatto che ho letto parecchio della produzione di Baum, e certamente La storia del mantello magico è uno dei suoi lavori più riusciti.Va detto che il Mago divenne per l’autore una gabbia dorata. Il successo del libro obbligò Baum a scrivere una serie infinita di volumi su Oz - gli editori non volevano altro da lui. E anche in seguito egli non ebbe mai più una reale libertà espressiva: ormai era stato classificato come autore per ragazzi, con tutti i limiti che tale etichetta comportava.Bisogna tenere presente che la letteratura per l’infanzia dell’epoca, seppur in forte rinnovamento (rinnovamento che lo stesso Baum aveva contribuito ad avviare con il suo Mago), non era certo quella che conosciamo oggi. C’era una visione molto ristretta degli argomenti ritenuti appropriati a un bambino e le idee spesso scarseggiavano.Fatta questa premessa, passiamo ora a La storia del mantello magico. Il romanzo si divide idealmente in due parti: la prima mi è piaciuta molto, la seconda per nulla.Nella prima parte si narra della tessitura del mantello e dei ripetuti tentativi di Zixi, la regina strega di un piccolo regno incantato, di sottrarre l’indumento a Fiocco e Lallo, la coppia di bambini protagonisti – e sin qui nulla da dire: la storia scorre che è un piacere ed effettivamente fa pensare alla migliore tradizione delle fiabe classiche europee.Proprio come una fiaba, però, la prima parte risulta di breve respiro, si esaurisce in poche pagine, e a metà del libro è già bell’e finita. Che fare? Baum nel tentativo di allungare il brodo aggiunge una seconda parte, i cui protagonisti sono i Rudi-Rolli, delle creature malvagie a forma di palla, che poco o nulla hanno a che fare con il resto e che, peraltro, ricordano molto alcuni mostri già apparsi ne Il meraviglioso mago di Oz.In questo modo quella che sarebbe potuta essere una graziosa novella di una cinquantina di pagine diventa un romanzo piuttosto mediocre. Certo, la prosa è ottima, sempre perfettamente calibrata al tono del racconto, ma purtroppo non basta a salvare un libro che fondamentalmente è l’addizione di due episodi sconnessi fra loro.Infine, due parole sull’edizione italiana del romanzo. La storia del mantello magico è la prima traduzione del libro nella nostra lingua, è pubblicata da Donzelli e accompagnata da tavole originali della francese Aurélia Fronty. Peccato per il prezzo: 25€, un costo esagerato, considerando il formato ridotto.

  • Kirstin
    2019-04-19 20:09

    In this lesser known tale by L. Frank Baum, the good fairy queen Lulea and her band of fairies decide to alleviate her boredom with dancing by creating a magical wishing cloak that will grant each wearer a single wish unless they have come by the garment in an underhanded means. The Man in the Moon suggests they give to the first unhappy person they encounter. After all, he points out, “The happy mortals have no need of magic cloaks.”They dispense the cloak by messenger to the land of Noland, where the king has just died without an heir. After several days of hand-wringing by his cabinet, they remember eventually that they had a book of laws to refer to for occasions just such as these. The book decrees that the 47th person to enter the capital city’s eastern gate at dawn shall be declared ruler of the kingdom.Approaching the city of Nole are three miserable travellers: the newly orphaned Margaret (known to all as Fluff) and Timothy (called Bud) and their stern guardian, Aunt Rivette. Bud and his aunt butt heads constantly, leaving Fluff in an endless stream of tears.These three events conspire to land Bud on the throne of the land and Fluff in a more cheerful state of mind. They are whisked off to the castle, where they live happily for a good while, enjoying the periodic and accidental dispensing of odd wishes — from wings to a talking dog — to various people who unknowingly come into contact with the cloak.It is not a perfect life in Noland, though, for there are enemies gathered outside the boundaries of the land. Queen Zixi of the adjoining Ix was not on speaking terms with her neighbors. A 683-year-old enchantress who had found a way to appear eternally youthful, she immediately coveted the magic cloak when she heard tell of its existence. She yearns to use it to turn the wrinkled visage she sees in the mirror to the same outward beauty her subjects see. And she’s not above using both trickery and force to try to get her hands on it.Along another border, the Roly-Rogues, a quarrelsome, ball-shaped, bouncy people, have discovered the existence of the Nolanders and seek to invade and take over the land and its people.Will the cloak be able to save them? Or will its wishes be squandered by foolish mortals?This fairy tale is sweet and would make a good read-aloud bedtime book for families. And apparently Baum also created a silent film version of the story, which is available on dvd.

  • Dusty
    2019-03-21 17:11

    The introduction to the copy of this book I borrowed from the library bravely declares it L. Frank Baum's masterpiece -- better even than the Oz series -- despite its obscurity. I know nothing about all that. Unlike everyone else who comes to Queen Zixi, it seems, for an additional Baum fix, for me it was my first exposure. My response? I think it was a mostly harmless fairy tale.In a nutshell, it's the story of a boy (Bud) who happens to be in the right place at the right time and is declared the new ruler of the kingdom of Nole. Meanwhile, his sister (nicknamed Princess Fluff) inherits a fairy-woven cloak that will grant its wearer one wish. For the first half of the book, various characters (including all five of Bud's blundering old advisors) wear the cloak and unknowingly have fulfilled their ludicrous wishes. Queen Zixi of Ix, the witch who has ruled a nearby kingdom for over six centuries hears rumors of the cloak's powers and plots to steal it. In the second half, Nole is invaded by a species of round bouncy glutton-villains (the Roly-Rogues), and the children and Queen Zixi realize they will have to settle their differences and work together to protect both their kingdoms. Why the book is named after Queen Zixi rather than Bud or Princess Fluff is unknown to me. Better alliteration? I found the story engaging, the book an overall good (and quick) read. That said, Queen Zixi shows its age (and distance from 21st-century notions of political correctness). Why are only the wealthy people smart enough to make "sensible" wishes? Both the introduction and other reviewers have said the book offers its readers (presumably early 20th century American children) important lessons. This I suppose it true. People must work together. Children must respect their elders. Wealthy monarchs must treat their subjects with dignity. When we're in trouble, we mustn't depend on the so-called easy way out. And sometimes, our wishes are best left unfulfilled.

  • Mary Catelli
    2019-04-05 20:21

    Baum considered this his best work. I'm not certain I agree with him, but it's certainly one of his strongest. If you overlook the names, which get a bit unfortunate in places. A light-hearted thing of fancies and fantasy.It opens with a court of fairies where the queen does not want to dance. Discussion of the problems of boredom leads to the idea of enchanting something. Finally, they decide to make a cloak that will grant one and only one wish to a person, unless he got the cloak by stealing it. One fairy sets out to give it to the first unhappy person she meets.Meanwhile, two little orphans, Bud and Fluff (yeah, those are the names -- they are really named Timothy and Margaret), are being taken off to the city by their Aunt Rivette, who goes for corporal punishment. Fluff is very, very, very miserable, and so gets the cloak. Shortly thereafter, she wishes she could be happy again. And the wish works.And in the city they are going to, the king has died, leaving no heir. Finally, his councilors remember the book of law and read they must crown as king the forty-seventh person to come in the gate after dawn. Which, it proves, is Bud.Three episodes ensue. Bud being king -- in a style that many young readers would think an excellent way to be king, though Fluff does persuade him that he has some responsibilities -- and the cloak going from hand to hand and people making wishes without even knowing it granted them. What Queen Zixi of Ix did when she learned of the cloak and its powers. And one more that would be a bit spoilerish. Involves an alligator that wants to climb trees, subjects who fear Queen Zixi more than they love her, wings being useful for scouting, soup, buying all the toys they could want, an attempt at a witching school, and much more.

  • Jes
    2019-04-11 23:18

    Surprise, surprise! I was poking around in the YA section, doing a full scan (monthly inventory) and I came across this book! It is rare that we have any non-Oz books by Baum in our shop! I was pleased to take a break from Dorothy and jump into Bud & Fluff's story. (Love their nicknames)I like that Queen Zixi was both a villain AND a friend to the main characters. Much more complex than other Baum stories I've read this far. The other characters were amusing. At times, I felt like the plot was moving forward arbitrarily. But it ended well and it's good to end strongly.I think King Bud was my favorite character. His boyish wants and his desire to rule the kingdom well were charming. I also liked how Aunt changed after her wish was granted and softened a bit towards her niece and nephew. The counsellors were silly but were meant to be comic relief so that was fine.I was a bit surprised at how the plot with the sailor was wrapping up and was glad when it took a different turn at the end.

  • Cassie
    2019-04-02 21:18

    have been a fan of Baum's Oz series for a long time, so I decided it was about time to give some of his other works a chance. I found that my university had a copy of this particular book, so I checked it out. It was a rather interesting read because I realized I was so familiar with the characters of Oz that I was expecting for them to show up, but they never did. I applaud Baum for creating another world, even if it was never as popular as Oz. He creates a wonderful children's story here that has the exact charm as any of his stories about Oz. He truly is a wonderful writer and can drag you into the nonsense that he creates for these worlds with almost no effort.

  • Rainier
    2019-04-16 17:23

    This book is about a magic cloak (view spoiler)[ which gets torn up into parts at the end and at the last chapter the magic cloak gets lost for good.(hide spoiler)] The five counselors introduced somewhat earlier of the book and the King of Noland, which was introduced earlier and the book of Laws, because of it, made Bud the King of Noland. And his sister Fluff, the princess - oddly. After Meg and Bud but before the five High Counselors, except the Lord High Counselor, used the cloak, Aunt Rivette used the cloak. I would recommend this book to Oz fans, people shaped like balls, thorns (just joking), and people I know.

  • Samuel Valentino
    2019-04-16 20:06

    Not as good as the best Oz books, like The Marvelous Land of Oz or Rinkitink in Oz, but better than the lesser ones, like The Road to Oz. So pretty good overall. I like the character development - people change over the course of the story, which was a nice element. And I liked seeing the Forest of Burzee show up in chapter one as the home of the fairies - Baum also has this forest in one of his Santa Claus stories as well, so an interesting continuity. Overall, light entertainment, but interesting to read if you enjoy the Oz books.

  • Gina
    2019-04-09 16:08

    I was never all that interested in Baum's Oz novels (and I don't care for the movie at all), but this book is one that I checked out from the library over and over again when I was younger. It's still a genuine delight. I have the Dover edition which contains the original illustrations. Funny how I remember those so vividly. Re-reading years later, I now think that choosing the 47th person to pass through the city gates is not a bad way to choose a ruler.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-01 19:34

    An absolute favorite! So many details of this book have stayed with me and when, a few years ago, I read it aloud to my children, it was a thrill to become reacquainted with the story. One of the things I especially loved about this story-aside from the funny predicaments, magic, and fairy tale details-were the illustrations. Particularly of the fairies in the woods. I loved this book and highly recommend it!

  • Lenny Husen
    2019-04-11 19:32

    This is my favorite of his books. This is a fantastic story, and very thought-provoking. Actually is a book for adults more than children. This is good enough for a book club. Asks the following question, "Is it better to wish for something that you think will make you happy, or to wish just to be happy?" If you think the answer is obvious, ask yourself why so many people can't ever figure it out.

  • Neil
    2019-03-31 16:11

    One of Baum's best non-Oz stories. Rather more of a traditional fairytale than the Oz books, the feel of which is heightened by Frederick Richardson's beautiful art nouveau illustrations. Baum still very much plays around with fairytale conventions, what would traditionally have been "bad" or "good" characters are much more multifaceted.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-27 15:26

    I liked this story. It seemed a little like Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss meet Russian fairy tales, without the violence. This would be a fun book for parents (or grandparents) to read to children as a bedtime story. No nightmares, but lots of fun.

  • LemontreeLime
    2019-04-04 21:28

    This was one of the books Baum wrote early on before the Oz books took over his life. It was very slow at first but at about the 1/2 way point it suddenly takes off. Interesting, but I agree, not as much fun as Oz.

  • Erica
    2019-03-28 20:23

    This could be my favorite Baum book. It throws a little more purpose/moral into the book than the Oz books. The story is crafted more carefully, and again, I love Baum's vocabulary. I love reading books with such amazing vocabulary to children.

  • PennsyLady (Bev)
    2019-03-26 17:22

    performed by Ray Bolger“Queen Zixi of Ix is the story of a magic cloak, woven by fairies with the power to grant its wearer a wish."A world of Oz talechildren's fantasy fiction

  • Kat
    2019-03-22 20:19

    A cute, fun little story. I liked the plot, characters, and morals, and was pleased to find a lack of awkward racist elements.

  • Valerie
    2019-04-19 15:13

    Not my favorite of his books.

  • Rosie Uebel
    2019-04-12 18:23

    Baum's fairytale deals with appreciating what you are & have now versus our imagined faults.

  • Gina
    2019-03-26 17:14

    One of my favorites from childhood. Teaches some great things.

  • Mareklamo
    2019-03-22 20:21

    A charming fairy story written back when L. Frank Baum still cared. Genocide is attempted, but averted by the buoyancy of the Roly-Rogues. Why are fairies always down on witches?

  • cat
    2019-03-21 23:05

    i never thought i would find an l. frank baum my dad had not read to us as kids, but here's one. it's a delight!

  • PennsyLady (Bev)
    2019-04-04 19:13

    Queen Zixi of Ix is the story of a magic cloak, woven by fairies with the power to grant its wearer a wish.children's fantasy fiction