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When Professor Brinton Garrett arrives in Philadelphia with his wife in 1872 to take care of their new ward, the orphaned daughter of a fellow scholar, he expects to find a polite, somber, modest young lady. What he gets is sixteen-year-old Vesper Holly, a feisty, precocious wild-child who wins him over instantly, nicknames him “Brinnie,” and whisks him away on an adventure half-way across the world. Vesper longs to investigate first-hand her deceased father’s theories about the national and cultural legends of Illyria, a tiny country on the Adriatic Sea, and she won’t take “No” for an answer. When Vesper and Brinnie arrive in the itsy-bitsy ancient kingdom, they are immediately plunged into a centuries-old civil conflict between Illyria’s two proud ethnic groups. One adventure follows fast on the heels of another—Vesper and Binnie uncover a conspiracy against King Osman, have an exciting encounter with rebel leader Vartan, and search for long-lost national treasure. Along the way, Brinnie (narrating this first of five globe-trotting adventures by author Lloyd Alexander) learns to expect the unexpected from his new charge. Vesper is anything but the placid girl of the Victorian era. She’s brilliant, fearless, honest, and good-humored; she wears billowing trousers, is familiar with five languages, and can cuss in all of them. Smart, lively, and action-packed, The Illyrian Adventure and its fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants heroine are nearly impossible to resist.
posted Oct 12, 2010 at 11:35AM
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