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by Lloyd Alexander

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-47371-8
Publisher: Dutton

Intrepid is the word for Vespar Holly. It’s 1876, but unlike most girls her age of that era, Vespar is a classical scholar with a strong sense of adventure. In the past, she has dealt with natural disasters, assassination attempts and other dastardly deeds. In this newest addition to the series, she’s in Greece searching for Troy. She and her companions are swept up in a demented plot by their archrival Helvitius. They are carried away to an island on which he has built a version of Xanadu, along with a factory that produces a deadly chemical compound that foreshadows modern weapons of mass destruction. Poison, imprisonment, daring escapes—nothing can stop them. For they are from Philadelphia, a location that endows them with every admirable virtue. Alexander’s language has just the right touch of 19th-century syntax and sensibility. The characters may be caricatures, but they are delightful and charming. Moreover, there’s a lovely surprise ending for romantically inclined readers. Just plain fun. (Fiction. 10-14)