The Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I first read this book when I was about ten or eleven and just fell head over heels in love with the whole series. I devoured them all, although I only own the first two.
Basically, the star of the book, Vesper Holly, is what it would be like if Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones had a redheaded love child. She's a brash Yankee adventurer in the 19th century who has a penchant for globetrotting and strange adventures. The series is narrated by her Watsonesque guardian Brinton "Brinnie" Garrett, who is a prim and proper sort of man who nevertheless accompanies his teenage ward on all of her quests. The Illyrian Adventure, the first in the series, sends them to the Romania-reminiscent country of Illyria, where a centuries-old feud and a mythical folk hero wreak havoc.
Alexander is an amazing writer, and I'm glad that I still enjoy this book as much as I did as a child. The writing is brisk and breezy, and makes for an effortlessly enjoyable read.
Read June 1, 2010, in under an hour
Two books down, 998 to go.