Enid Mary Blyton was born in East Dulwich, United Kingdom, on August 11, 1897. She was the eldest of the three siblings. An accomplished children’s author, Blyton’s books have been bestsellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies worldwide.

Blyton wrote on diverse topics like education, natural history, fantasy, and mystery. Her debut book was a poetry collection known as Child Whispers, published in 1922. Her best works include Noddy, Secret Seven, Malory Towers, and Famous Five. Blyton’s life was dramatized in Enid, a BBC television film. The film was first broadcast in the UK on BBC Four in 2009.


The Castle of Adventure is the second book in the Adventure series. The book contains the occasional reference to its prequel. That said, it may be read as a standalone book, too.

The story begins with all the protagonists, Jack, Philip, Lucy-Ann, and Dinah, coming home for the term-end holidays from the boarding school. Philip’s mom arranges a cottage at Castle Hill to spend their vacation at. After getting there, the four kids venture outside to explore the area. To their surprise, they come across a deserted castle. They eventually become friends with Tassie, a local girl. Soon, the quintet begins to check out the abandoned castle, getting into an adventure none of them could have seen coming.


The Castle of Adventure is devoid of any complicated vocabulary, making it an ideal children’s read. The role of Kiki, the parrot, has been beautifully described. The author has exquisitely conveyed the importance of unity through the kids, who come together to emerge triumphant against all odds.

The book has a fairy tale-like feel to it. Even the villains aren’t too evil as they avoid hurting our little protagonists too severely. The author has been careful to not mirror the harsh realities of the real world in certain scenarios, for these could have negatively affected young minds.


Kids of the present generation may not find the book too amusing. The author could have assigned more importance to the older characters in the story. The author could have also done without the racist depictions of young Tassie. Some stereotypes, like portraying foreigners as ugly, only seem to make matters worse.


‘I don’t feel at all brave,’ thought Jack, ‘but I suppose a person is really bravest when he does something although he is frightened. So here goes!’

Suddenly Kiki gave an alarming screech, lost her balance and fell right off the tower! She disappeared below, and the children leapt up in horror. Then they sat down again, smiling and feeling rather foolish – for, of course, as soon as she fell, Kiki spread out her wings and soared into the air!


Ameya Score:

The Castle of Adventure is the perfect example of a risk-free “adventure”. The book is light-hearted and funny throughout, making it an ideal read for children. On the other hand, grown-ups will not mind missing this book.

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