Elidor is a fast-paced adventure story containing plenty of tension, conflict, and danger, as well as a unicorn, treasures, magic spells, and chase scenes. The reader must remain alert because transitions occur quickly, and fantasy and the everyday intermingle. The story is a fantasy, but most of it takes place in the real world and deals with real problems and responsibilities. Garner's fantasy is tough and challenging. He uses several ancient myths with which the reader may or may not be familiar, and he brings these myths powerfully to life. In addition, Garner gives scientific explanations for some of the unusual things that happen in the book. In a sense he brings the worlds of myth and science together, just as he joins the worlds of Elidor and Manchester.
Runner-up for the 1965 Carnegie Medal, Elidor is a humorous book with interesting ideas. In the actions of Roland, the youngest brother, the reader sees how a young person whom other children consider too sensitive and imaginative can take initiative and assume responsibility. At times, a smart, imaginative child can triumph over more physical opponents. Elidor offers funny and ironic scenes of modem life; it parodies slow-witted, unimaginative adults, who cannot live without television and panic when home appliances go berserk. Perhaps the adults of this book, not the young people, live in a fantasy world.
(The entire section is 224 words.)