Themes and Characters
The first book in Monica Hughes's Isis trilogy, The Keeper of the Isis Light, is a masterpiece and arguably her best work. It is both a love story and a poignant comment on prejudice. Hughes explores, in this light adventure romance, the nature of what it means to be human.
This book is a real page-turner as the author gradually reveals its two surprises: Olwen's physical appearance and the fact, unrealized by Olwen till the last pages, but probably guessed by the reader, that Guardian is a robot.
There are other small surprises, such as the revelation that Olwen's pet, Hobbit, is not only a large, hairy animal but actually quite fearsome in appearance. The beast that Guardian has given the taxonomic name Draco hirsutus is not the large dog-like animal the reader may have assumed from Hobbit's friendly behavior in chapter 1. Hobbit is a large, hairy dragon, but as gentle as a dormouse. The pup Olwen later finds in a northern valley weighs a hundred kilograms or more.
Another small surprise is that the Captain of the Pegasus Two, Jonas Tryon, is more willing to accept a variety of conditions provided that they are identifiably foreign from what he expects to see. After he has climbed laboriously up the steep stone "staircase" of the mesa to the terrace, Olwen's home is not a rustic cave; it is seen by him as beautiful when he compares it to "an incredibly expensive hotel on the French Riviera which he had once visited,...
(The entire section is 2008 words.)
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