"The Enchanted Castle" was, if I remember correctly, the first book by Edith Nesbit I ever read. I was around 10 years old at the time, and my godmother gave me the German edition of the book.
It was love at first sight, becoming one of those firm favourites of my childhood I kept returning to now and again.
For the next Christmases or birthdays, I was given a few more Edith Nesbit books, all of which I loved, especially "The Magic City". But the first one I read will forever hold a special place in my heart, as do the first Narnia book I read, "Madita" by Astrid Lindgren, and a few others.
Some time ago, Moncia posted on her blog about Edith Nesbit's books, and this reminded me of my old love for her writing.
I went and downloaded all I could find by her in Amazon's kindle shop. Since then, I have read and reviewed a few books. You can easily find those reviews (one of them containing some biographical info about the author) by typing "Nesbit" in the search bar at the top left corner of my blog.
Thanks to my download spree, I have now finally read this all-time favourite of mine in its original language. As I own the German copy and compare the two versions now, I can say that the translation, published in 1957, is a very good one. But of course nothing beats the original, where Nesbit's very own humour and knack for storytelling come through unfiltered.
Now to the book itself:
Siblings Gerald, Jimmy and Kathleen are spending their summer holiday away from home and, somewhat at a loss, start exploring their surroundings.
Coming across a beautiful park and castle, they are not all that surprised to find a sleeping beauty in the middle of a maze.
Is there magic at play, or just a lonely little girl playing at being princess?
Everything that happens from that moment on is more adventurous than the children could have ever imagined. There are even some slightly dangerous moments, but you won't be surprised if I tell you that all ends well.
That is also true for the love story that is hinted at a few times and fully explained later on in the book, but with not so much detail as to be boring for children, who are meant to be the main readership.
The whole book is full of great ideas, well-rounded characters and witty conversation.
If you have not read it as a child, you have lost out on something. But there is still time - read it now.
It won't take long, I promise.