Read The Drackenberg Adventure by Lloyd Alexander Online


Who could resist a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to the Grand Duchess of Drackenberg's Diamond Jubilee Celebration? Not Vesper Holly! Off she goes, with her guardian, Brinnie, and his wife, Mary, and plunges into a plot involving a takeover attempt from neighboring Carpatia.In short order, Vesper finds herself mixed up with Gypsies, a kidnapping, and the discovery of a priWho could resist a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to the Grand Duchess of Drackenberg's Diamond Jubilee Celebration? Not Vesper Holly! Off she goes, with her guardian, Brinnie, and his wife, Mary, and plunges into a plot involving a takeover attempt from neighboring Carpatia.In short order, Vesper finds herself mixed up with Gypsies, a kidnapping, and the discovery of a priceless Leonardo da Vinci portrait. Vesper has her hands full. Especially when the despicable Dr. Helvitius shows up. Will Vesper be able to save the day—and Drackenberg?...

Title : The Drackenberg Adventure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141304717
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 152 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Drackenberg Adventure Reviews

  • Madeline
    2019-02-04 23:22

    "Miss Vesper Holly dislikes weak tea and watercress sandwiches. She avoids those genteel occasions featuring starched white collars and white gloves. However, the slightest hint of something out of the ordinary is enough to gain the dear girl's attention.'When a grand duchess asks you to her diamond jubilee celebration,' said Vesper, 'that's no tea party invitation.'"It certainly isn't. In the third installment of Vesper Holly's adventures (narrated, as always, by her guardian and #1 fan Professor Brinton Garrett), the plot gets started in a slightly different way than its predecessors. Instead of finding out that she has inherited a volcano, or deciding to continue her father's research in a volatile part of the world, Vesper embarks on this adventure by accepting an invitation to a royal party in a stable European country (the Duchy of Drackenberg). Obviously everything still goes tits up, because this is a Vesper Holly adventure, but Alexander lets his heroine have a little mini-vacation, going to balls and exploring castles like any tourist, before throwing her into the real adventure. I was on the verge of bumping this book's rating up to four stars, first because I enjoyed that the pace of the adventure was less breakneck than previous books. Things still moved quickly, but this time there was actually time for our heroes to breathe between adventures, rather than having to race from one dire scrape to another, and it gives the reader time to breathe as well.Another reason this book deserves a higher rating (let's compromise and say three and a half stars) is because, for the first time, we get to spend quality time with Brinnie's wife, Mary. After being left behind to look after the house in The Illyrian Adventure and The El Dorado Adventure, Mary gets invited along to Drackenberg, and I'm only sad that Alexander waited until Book 3 to introduce her to readers. Mary establishes herself as a solid member of the team right off the bat, when she and Vesper are caught in a riot in the Drackenberg capital. When Brinnie arrives to spring his wife and his ward from jail, this delightful exchange occurs:"'We were accosted,' said Mary. 'I do not tolerate being accosted under any circumstances, neither in Philadelphia nor anywhere else. I simply will not stand for it.''Aunt Mary used a handbag on them,' said Vesper."Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) Mary gets kidnapped by the bad guys pretty early in the book and has to sit most of the adventure out, but she still manages to make the most of her time when (spoiler alert?) she's rescued:"Dear Brinnie, how could you ever have imagined that I would allow myself to be a helpless victim? To be abducted? Manhandled? And do nothing about it? That sort of treatment is entirely unacceptable. If I'd had my handbag, those ruffians would not have carried me off in the first place."Aunt Mary is officially my favorite. I know it's not possible for a lot of reasons (for one thing, the entire series was published thirty years ago) but I'm still going to start a petition to have Mary replace Brinnie as Vesper's companion on her adventures. Bumbling and delightful as Brinnie is, I enjoyed Vesper and Mary's rapport infinitely more, and immediately started imagining how much fun it would be if Mary narrated one of the books. But I have a feeling this isn't going to happen. I've been so busy fawning over Mary I haven't even gotten a chance to explain the plot yet. Right, so we get to Drackenberg and quickly learn that it's in danger of being annexed by its larger and richer neighbor, Carpatia. This, I've learned, is pretty much the default Vesper Holly conflict - two groups fighting each other, with our heroine siding with the scrappy underdog - but luckily the conflict takes more of a backseat this time. There's an entire subplot about a missing painting, and I wish it had been the main plotline, because it was nice to see Vesper invested in a small-scale problem that was still interesting. Vesper doesn't need to solve the problems of an entire country every time for the books to hold my interest. Oh, and also this book has Gypsies, and the best that can be said about them is that their portrayal is only mildly racist. Anyway, so we have the annexation conflict, and the missing painting, and everything moves along at a nice clip, and then everything gets ruined when - guess who - Dr. Helvitius shows up.As I predicted in my review of The El Dorado Adventure, Dr. Helvitius has become a problem. I understand Alexander's need to give Vesper a nemesis - the series is inspired mainly by the Sherlock Holmes books, so we need a Moriarty - but there is a reason Moriarty only appears in two Holmes stories. The big super-dangerous villain can only show up so many times before you run out of reasons to explain why he hasn't just shot the heroine in the damn head already, and by Book 3, Alexander is already running out of reasons. In this one, Helvitius's goons capture Vesper and Brinnie, knock them unconscious, and transport them to a second location just so Helvitius can explain his dastardly plan to them and then kill them. This is irritating, but I understand that this is a book for children and Alexander can't have his villain actually murder the heroine, or even hurt her in any serious manner. But here is my real problem with Helvitius: he is a distraction. Every time he appears, he derails the entire plot and makes everything center around himself - instead of working on whatever problem she's been assigned in this book, Vesper has to completely refocus her attention on dealing with whatever dumb roadblocks Helvitius throws at her, and it's getting old. I really, really hope he's not in the fourth book, and Alexander lets Vesper deal with someone else for a change, but I know better than to get my hopes up. At least the adventures are still fun, despite their issues.

  • Liz
    2019-02-14 23:26

    I love that we got more of Aunt Mary in this book!! She is as great as Vesper and Brinnie.

  • Abby
    2019-02-14 03:31

    as always a STUNNING novel....

  • Phoebe Salomon
    2019-01-21 23:12

    When wealthy adventurer Vesper Holly and her guardian Professor Brinton Garrett cannot resist accepting an invitation to the diamond jubilee of the Grand Duchess Maria-Sophia of Drackenberg For one of the first times, Aunt Mary, Brinnie’s wife, is accompanying them. It’s only fair, after all, it’s thanks to her connections that they have an invitation at all. In this book, returning villain Dr. Helvitius, is here to rob the tiny country of its newly formed money. On top of that, the evil Doctor has discovered a priceless treasure—a previously unknown work by no less than Leonardo da Vinci—that he is determined to have for his own. And only Vesper, Brinnie, and an assorted new group of friends have any hope of stopping him. The best addition to the group and to the book is Aunt Mary, who has been more than a bit envious of the exciting trips her husband keeps taking. It is soon revealed that this I because she doesn’t know most of the less unpleasant details. But Aunt Mary, who always rather wanted to see a diamond jubilee and have the chance to meet the royalty of the era. Dr. Helvitius, who has by now learned that Vesper and Brinnie have a gift for escaping tight spots, thinks she’s an easy target. As do Brinnie and Vesper they unhesitatingly accept that Aunt Mary has been kidnapped and is in genuine peril, adding a personal motivation to their fight against Dr. Helvitius. It therefore comes as a glorious moment to discover that practical Aunt Mary finds kidnapping, manhandling, and abduction completely unacceptable and something she will absolutely not tolerate. She jumps right out of the kidnappers’ outraged at their coarse and unmannerly behavior. She is one lady of middle years who believes that she does not need rescue; in fact she is even indignant that her husband doesn’t realize this. The book ends with Vesper, Brinnie, and Aunt Mary, back at home in Philadelphia.

  • Laura Verret
    2019-01-26 23:40

    Vesper Holly is on the move again!The Story.Despite the many tumultuous circumstances in which I often find myself afloat, I, Professor Brinton Garrett, am a peace loving man. Why, I love nothing better than to sit at tea with my wife Mary and our ward, Miss Vesper Holly, in our Philadelphia home. But, more often than not, I am to be found dashing around the world at the heels of Vesper, the dear girl, who cannot seem to keep herself out of intrigue.This time her plan seems simple – she has opted to accept the Grand Duchess Maria-Sophia of Drackenberg’s invitation to attend her diamond jubilee. But our stately vacation turns into a wild adventure when the dear girl’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Desmond Helvitius, appears as an invited guest at the same celebration! An exploding sausage, a band of wandering gypsies, and the dragon-like duchess herself are all involved in the plot which unfolds!Discussion.I’ve already discussed the general style of the Vesper Holly adventures in my review of The Philadelphia Adventure. I hope none of you mind if I reiterate here what I wrote in that review.Fearless. Indomitable. Intellectual. Well-traveled. Highly civilized. Passionately dedicated to the pursuit of justice. This is Vesper Holly.She has been called the female Indiana Jones, a comparison which, though I have never seen an Indiana Jones movie, I feel is likely a just one. Not only does Vesper dash around between nations solving highly dangerous problems of national importance, but she does so with an air of complete calm. On the few occasions when she is down, she is most certainly not out, and whenever her wits fail her, her cunning never does.Some may think that this sounds like a feministic scenario, but it simply isn’t. Oh, Vesper’s plucky alright. And she is often the primary leader in her investigations. But her leadership isn’t a self-declared, rebellious, in-your-face leadership – it’s a natural one, the result of her obviously superior brain power. She is sometimes abrupt, but is never disrespectful.In this story, third out of the six installments, only half of Vesper’s eventual entourage is present – herself, Mary and Brinnie. Missing are The Weed and Smiler and Slider, the twins. I felt their absence – The Weed provides a comedic relief which The Drackenberg Adventure needed for it to be as enjoyable as the other stories I have read from the series.The Vesper Holly stories self-consciously imitate the most dramatic installments of the adventure genre. Alexander had a fine line to walk here – one notch more of drama and the whole story would feel completely overdrawn. One notch less, and the story would fall into dredging cheesedom. But he walked his line and achieved adventures which are archetypical but original; impossible, but highly probable in Vesper’s world. Vesper herself is a dear darling girl with a startling brain and an amazing aptitude for stratagem – Dr. Helvitius is a perfidious rapscallion whose sinister snarls are chilling and whose plots are never less than national in scheme.Dr. Helvitius reminds me of Saccharine from Spielberg’s recent The Adventures of Tintin. Ruthless and unprincipled, but ever gentlemanly in dress and expansive in manner. It’s my favorite type of villain, really. Of course, the fact that Dr. Helvitius pulls Rathbone’s Moriarty-style unconfirmed deaths at the end of each story and prompt reappearances at the beginning of the next, doesn’t hurt anything.Brinnie’s narrative, in keeping with the style of the story, is well-worded and the written style feels like a throwback to the 1890s adventure story – no small feat for a modern author. I loved his description of the Grand Duchess and the difference between Brinnie and Vesper’s responses to her.“The crowd parted to make way for the Grand Duchess Maria-Sophia as she progressed toward a draped platform at the far end of the ballroom – or rather, as she stumped ahead briskly, aided by a knobby cane more an Irish shillelagh than a royal walking stick. Though one of the most elderly rulers in Europe, she had a jaw that looked strong enough to crack walnuts and a pair of sharp, shrewd blue hard eyes as hard edged as the diamonds in her crown.“She looks like the Drackenberg flag,” said Vesper.The emblem of the grand duchy is a golden dragon, and Vesper detected the resemblance precisely. Maria-Sophia had ties with every royal line and it showed in her features: the full Hapsburg lip, the hawkish Bourbon nose. There were still hints of the russet hair of the Elphbergs in her gray tresses. This combination, plus a beetling brow and a cracking glance, gave a definitely dragonlike air. It would be prudent to keep a distance from her.“I want to talk to her.” Said Vesper. [pg. 29-30]And here, Brinnie describes a fall he took.“The majestic rule of gravity, the imperious law of falling bodies, must be experienced to be truly appreciated. I recall only a wild giddiness, a horrible sinking in the pit of my stomach as I plunged downward, flailing arms and legs as if that would save me from the inevitable collision with Ritterhof Square. My abrupt arrival there eliminated further sensations.” [pg. 142]Vesper spends quite a bit of time with a gypsy band and observes of the gypsy chief,“He knows more than we do. He knows how to be free. The rom [gypsies] are their own people,” Vesper said wistfully. “They’re a law unto themselves.” [pg. 71]Vesper continues in her pursuit of lawful justice and, though eccentric, does not exhibit lawless tendencies.Conclusion. A notch less enjoyable than The Philadelphia Adventure and The Jedera Adventure, but still great fun for those who enjoy Vesper Holly’s adventures.Visit The Blithering Bookster to read more reviews!

  • Heather Culley
    2019-02-13 00:29

    Another corking adventure.

  • Joshua Van Dereck
    2019-02-17 03:35

    A very reasonable installment in this silly series. The Vesper Holly books feel more like a whimsical retirement project than a genuine fantasy series, but they are fun, whimsical, and consistently comical. In a far more serial fashion than for his grander works (like Prydain or Westmark) Alexander spun out these novels as a series of giddy romps. The villain consistently underestimates the characters, tells them all of his plans, and insists on keeping them alive, and the characters make many clever turns only to undercut themselves through farcical twists of foolishness. But they make for amusing light reading, the sort of books that are fun to read in the pauses amidst heavier or headier novels, and Alexander's sparkling sense of humor is always a treat!

  • Biblia Fyle
    2019-02-19 01:28

    Not my most enjoyable Vesper Holly adventure -mostly as I felt the connection between the Italian Duchess and Vesper was never fully monopolized upon-- but still enjoyable, full of Brinnie's sarcastic humor and Vesper tenacious resolve to save the world, or at least, drqackenbuerg, all while upsetting the nefarious plan of Dr. Helvetius. This book features Mary accompanying them on their journey, which was refreshing, as it seems Mary and brinnie spend far too much time apart where vesper is concerned; it was good to see her beinging them together.

  • CatherineMustread
    2019-02-20 05:28

    I found this third book in the Vesper Holly series to be as exciting and full of adventure as the first two, although the suspense did not seem as strong as in the previous two books.  I did like the gypsy connection which reminded me of the adult Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn, which is set in roughly the same time period, latter 1800s.

  • Jess
    2019-01-28 22:16

    Probably my favorite of the three I've reread so far, and I can pinpoint a direct line between reading the adventures of Vesper Holly (this one in particular) and moving on to Elizabeth Peters Vicky Bliss and Amelia Peabody. Mary is also an excellent addition to the series, and it's the humor that really shines, more than the improbable adventures.

  • Tobinsfavorite
    2019-02-09 22:28

    These are very silly. The repetition of foreign language endearments is tedious, but the evil villain is satisfyingly evil and the pride of the Philadelphian heroes is amusing. Plus, you get passages like this:"'Vile being! To attempt our destruction by means of exploding edibles. What could be more reprehensible! To employ a harmless Drackenbergerwurst as an instrument of murder!'"

  • Jenna
    2019-02-16 06:39

    This series is like Indiana Jones, girl style. When the heione's parents die, she goes to live with her father's co-partner/gardian. She has many adventures in excotic lands which usually end up in life and death situations.Ratings (out of 10):Plot: 9 {little hard to follow if you are younger than 12}Characters: 9Writing Style: 9Adventure: 10Originality: 10Total: 49/50 (A)

  • Elevetha
    2019-02-12 05:17

    Yet another good Vesper Holly book from Lloyd Alexander. Vesper is an awesome main character. Throughly enjoyable and recommended to all.

  • CatherineMustread
    2019-02-09 23:16

    Grades 5+. Vesper Holly and her guardians travel to an obscure European country where their archenemy, Dr. Helvitius, is pursuing a lost art treasure and engineering the country's annexation.

  • Kristi
    2019-02-16 03:21

    people never talk about vesper holly anymore but i love to revisit. she's so independent and sassy, and so unflappable. a quick and refreshing set of books.

  • 3anthony
    2019-01-27 04:25

    I think that this book is really interesting nut i didn't like the ending.

  • Michaela
    2019-02-20 05:17

    This one, by far, had less action. I felt like It was finished so much faster than any of the others. But any book with Vesper as a leading heroine gets at least 4 stars.

  • Julie
    2019-01-25 03:31

    Part of my summer reading from the library, I think - the year I was on the huge Lloyd Alexander kick.

  • Don Gubler
    2019-02-14 05:36

    Good series.

  • Sora
    2019-02-18 01:23

    Love these books. I read them as a kid and now I am re-reading them. A breathe of fresh air.

  • Corbin
    2019-02-09 05:16

    Read it the night I stopped sleeping.