From the title of The Purple Prince of Oz, one might suspect that the tale centered around Prince Pompadore of Pumperdink, last seen as the happy husband of Princess Peg Amy in Kabumpo in Oz. Well, although this royal couple and their little daughter Princess Pajonia, as well as King Pompus and Queen Pozy Pink, in fact, the whole royal family, do appear, they are not in the story long, for during a lavish banquet at which the King’s brother Kettywig was a guest, ill fortune befell them.
A magician called Nishibis, whose voice seemed oddly familiar to Randy (a Gilliken boy who had recently taken over from the elderly Spezzle as valet to Kabumpo the Elegant Elephant), put on a performance. At the height of the show, the wizened wizard materialized a “mist tree,” which bloomed in roses and urged the royals to each pick one. No sooner had they done so than they all five vanished!
Seizing the opportunity (which of course he had engineered in league with the conjurer), Kettywig had himself declared King and ordered that Kapumpo removed. Nishibis flung a blazing circle of twigs at Kabumpo, but Randy deflected it, and the two made good their escape into Foliensby Forest.
The Elegant Elephant, though at first considering seeking Ozma’s help, decided he’d much rather rescue his family himself, and Randy agreed, indebted to the Elephant and the royals for taking him in after he had been arrested for stealing grapes. In the woods, they came upon the home of Faleero, the hideous witch who had once almost been wed to Prince Pompadore.
Peering into the hut, they were at first surprised when they saw Nishibis, but when three attendant crones remove the disguise, they realized that the magician had been none other than Faleero herself! Having put Kettywig on the throne, she now intended to marry him and rule by his side.
Trying to decide their next course of action, they are surprised by a Soothsayer (so called because he kept on saying, “Sooth! Sooth! Sooth!”) who told them that a person of great importance was traveling toward the Emerald City, and that the Elephant and the boy would find what they seek in the home of the Red Jinn. So saying, the Soothsayer vanished.
Out they struck for the Quadling Country, in whose vermilion environs they reasoned the Red Jinn must live. Following a trio of perplexing signs to a river road, they found themselves sinking in, and pulled along by a road that was a river. It plunged them into an underground cavern, where, recovering from their near-drowning, they were next faced with a volley of torpedoes!