Dangerous Games

The redoubtable Dido Twite is aboard ship again, this time searching for Lord Herodsfoot, who is wanted in London to cheer up King James III with a collection of new games. Here Dido is far from Nantucket, or Battersea: she tracks Lord Herodsfoot to the tropical island of Aratu, where the simple but primevally powerful Forest People and the gloomy and narrow-minded Angrians, who colonized the island hundreds of years ago, are at odds. Dido twists and turns with the convoluted plot through a conglomeration of sinister villains, competent and incompetent heroes, crocodiles, deadly pearl snakes, sting monkeys, swinging rope bridges over deep crevasses, abandoned babies, unscalable cliffs, volcanic eruptions, and tidal waves. The author's famed power of invention is prodigious; there is enough material in this one novel to keep any other author at work for years. In fact, there is too much material: the story hurtles by at such a pace that the reader can hardly keep up. However, Dido, ever cheerful and sensible, is, as always, a splendid heroine-"a one-er, and no mistake.

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Dangerous Games

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