So, "Rinkitink in Oz" is a great book for, like, 80% of its page count. I mean, it's REALLY good, written by Baum in his prime, around a decade before it was actually published. You see, the book was once simply "King Rinkitink," an isolated Baum fairy tale not unlike "Queen Zixi" in design. Because he wrote it at a time when he was being ridiculously prolific, the book simply couldn't be slotted into the publishing schedule. Baum subsequently slipped it onto the shelf for a rainy day.
That rainy day came when, in 1916, he was still going back to the well for his publisher's regular supply of Oz books. "Rinkitink" got dusted off and, to justify the existence of "Oz" in the title, Baum changed the book's climax to involve Dorothy literally appearing out of nowhere to save the heroes. Note that, with the exception of the Nomes, there's neither hide nor hair of Oz seen until that moment. We follow our new heroes until the book reaches its dramatic peak... and then Dorothy appears to steal their thunder. Her appearance completely undermines the strength of the heroes and the drama of the storyline itself.
Sadly, "King Rinkitink" isn't known to have survived in its original form, so no one can say with any certainty what the original ending was. I suspect it was a lot better than the ending we eventually got.
Author: L. Frank Baum • Year: 1916 • Info:Tor Online