Most helpful positive review
A Female Indiana Jones
on August 8, 2003
I've been a Lloyd Alexander fan for a long time. His Westmark Trilogy and Prydain Chronicles are certainly some of my favorities for their high adventure, dry wit, and extraordinary depth. I've even exchanged letters with Alexander. Needless to say, I've been excited to begin the Vesper Holly books for a long times, and while this one is not quite up to the level of Westmark and Prydain, I am not disappointed.
Vesper Holly is quite a girl. She has a knack for getting into finding trouble and adventure. In this novel, she drags her Uncle Brinnie to Illyria and into a civil war with its roots in ancient mythology. Together, Vesper and Brinnie have to try to unite the country by bringing together the king and the leader of the rebel forces. Of course, the plot contains a lot of murder attempts and quick escapes and mysterious plot twists. It's certainly a fun, fast ride.
There is a lot that's great about this book. I'm always a stickler for good high adventure, and the humor, action, and characters of The Illyrian Adventure provide that. The only problem with the book is that it stops there. Where Prydain and Westmark have underlying messages about such things as political philosophy, the nature of heroism, and the ability of love to cut through the chaos of the world, this book did not have that depth. Certainly, read this book, but read Westmark and Prydain first.