|My copy of The Overlook Press edition, 2001.|
Islandia is like a Victorian-era Hobbit, except the hobbits are humans, and live in a bucolic wonderland south of the equator instead of north, in lush pastures and woods and villages as delightful as any in the Shire. The country of Islandia is so well conceived -- existing as it does on the continent of "Karain," a continent that's about the size of Australia but more like Africa in shape -- I'm convinced it indeed exists, somewhere….
The majestic mountains in the north of Islandia, reminiscent of Switzerland's or New Zealand's, and that have formed a natural border but not-so-impenetrable barrier between it and its vulgar, uncivilized, cut-throat neighbors of the Sobo Steppes, are mandatory travel destinations for the most intrepid mountaineer's itinerary, thus making Islandia (as reported by Austin Tappan Wright, Esq.) as much of an in-depth documentary of this fascinating nation as it is a 1,024 page novel presently published by The Overlook Press.
No matter what Islandia is or isn't, faux or fact, do know that it is always an awesome and romantic read, rich in intrigue, introspection, and mystery.