The Enchanted Castle

Book review by
Cindy Kane, Common Sense Media
The Enchanted Castle Book Poster Image
Though dated, this still casts a potent spell.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The boys criticize Kathleen and Mabel for acting like girls. Gerald disguises himself for a fair by covering his face and arms with black lead (graphite) to appear Indian.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a classic, though slightly dated.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byref April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byPiperMaclain711 June 15, 2013

I don't get this book.

The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit is like some sort of cross between "Narnia" and "Lord of the Rings". There are several kisses in this b... Continue reading

What's the story?

Four spirited children find an enchanted ring and embark on magical adventures. The ring, though, seems to have a mind of its own, and never behaves as they expect it to, leading to danger, comedy, mystery, and even a little romance between the grown-up characters. Though a bit dated, Nesbit's book still casts a potent spell.


Is it any good?

Nesbit wrote "surely the most wonderful books in the world," according to fantasy author Edward Eager; the magic is still here, though it has dimmed a bit over time. Almost 100 years have gone by since Jimmy told Kathleen, "You're just like a girl," and modern readers who expect the boys to learn a lesson about their occasional sexist sneers will be disappointed. Still, for children who like to act out the stories they read, this is like a travel guide for the imagination.

Nesbit was a contemporary of Oz author L. Frank Baum, but her novels have an important difference: The magic takes place in the real world, leading to comical misunderstandings such as ringleader Gerald's absurd dialogue with one dreadfully refined Ugly Wugly. H.R. Millar's drawings extend the text well, giving believable and pleasing portraits of the characters and firmly establishing the Edwardian setting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of magic in the real world. Do you find this story very believable? How does it compare with the magic of Narnia, Oz, or Tolkien's Middle-earth? What elements do the different stories have in common?

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate