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by Joan Aiken

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-385-32661-0
Publisher: Delacorte

From Aiken (Cold Shoulder Road, 1996, etc.), a continuation of the sturdy adventures of Dido Twite. Dispatched by King James III to retrieve Lord Herodsfoot, Dido, the stalwart Captain Sanderson, Doc Talisman, and the crew of the Siwara sail to the exotic island of Aratu. When an accident lands one of the ship’s crew in need of surgery, the good doctor must operate in an Aratu hospital, thus breaking one of their laws; however, the enterprising Dido discovers that the doctor has more than a career in medicine to protect. Doc Talisman is Talisma, a woman disguised as a man, who claims that she is actually the long-lost daughter of Aratu’s ruler, John King. When King’s evil brother, Manoel, realizes Talisma’s identity, he tries to kill her, and Dido is plunged into some fast-paced adventures that find her fighting off frightening monkeys, outsmarting the nasty Civil Guards, and locating the sweet-tempered twit, Lord Herodsfoot. While a romance blossoms between Heredsfoot and Talisma, the crew must risk their lives climbing up the steep hill to King’s palace, and persuade him that Talisma is his daughter, before a final deadly encounter with Manoel. Fans will be happy to see feisty Dido in action again, and while there is foul game afoot, the novel’s end finds the clever lass and company in search of yet another adventure. (Fiction. 12-15)