The third book of the secret series, ‘The Secret
Mountain’ feels like one of the Adventure books of the author more than a book
in the secret series. This may be due to having a set of children who trek
through the jungles of Africa where they discover a strange and
secretive African tribe whom that their
parents have being held captive in the mountain.
While most of the Famous Five stories are
based the set of children who hardly even leave their own village, here we have
Arnold children together with Prince Paul, flying to the heart of Africa on a
dangerous mission to rescue Captain and Mrs. Arnold whom reported missing while
flying over a remote area in Africa in their plane. These explorations may have
been resulted in dangers that might just get the children killed along with the
Throughout the book the story is filled with
too much fantasy, in a way making the story interesting. There happen to be
tribal people who worships the sun whom have yellow skin and red hair along
with eyes that flash like fire.
Indeed, there are plots where the story
becomes like the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Ryder Haggard’s
King Solomon’s Mines and Alan Quartermain where it become typical but suggests
a new vibe since this is actually a children’s story.
Anyway, the story that is conducted throughout
the book whether they succeed in the mission, by finding the mountain and
rescuing the parents quite adventurous that one must read entirely to get a
clear picture of what Enid is trying to tell through the story.
The story commences with Captain setting off
on a planned trip to Africa with Mrs. Arnold in their small but powerful
aeroplane, the White Swallow. At that time the children who are coming
back for holiday are to stay in the London flat with their nanny, Dimmy.
But one day the headlines of the newspapers
revealed a shocking news that there is no news of the Arnolds and that there
are no suggestions of happened to the plane. By then prince Paul is due to join
them whom they befriended in the process of rescuing him from the kidnappers
who kidnapped him demanding the king’s throne.
received an aeroplane along with a fine pilot named Pilescu as a birthday
present and volunteer to give the plane for them to go on a rescue mission on
his plane. Therefore, children start to persuade Pilescu and he introduces
another man named Ranni to join with them since it’s a quite journey which is
been arranged within a single evening.
Even though the adults are carrying guns with
them, the trek through these fierce jungle makes the children afraid, that
almost made them struggle to proceed on. The journey in which they reach
Africa the next morning, seems very well handled by the author and going to the
extreme of skillfully colouring the African
ambiance using baboons screams and leaches in waterholes etc.
they met a native from a local tribe who explained that the Arnolds were taken
away by the folk from the secret mountain which made everyone exited and wonder
thinking what to do next.
For a glass mirror which he sees as a magical
mirror; he agrees to guide the crew to the ountain. His nephew, a bold
mischievous and irrepressible boy called Mafumu also befriends with the
children immediately. After checking the both planes for the ability to operate
everyone sets off on the expedition to the secret mountain. The author inserts
convincing detail regarding the journey explaining a making of cork rafts which
takes them down the river around the mountain.
They happen to discover an unfriendly, isolated
race of people who keep secret the means of access to their home and thus creating a magical myth about them. They
looked very differently, being tall with green eyes, a creamy yellow skin and
red hair and beards. That is quite remarkable for a tribe of people living in Africa
whom always referred to as black or brown-skinned.
There is a descriptive discovery of a waterfall
that would be echoed while wandering inside the mountain. In fact, the secret
passages beyond are truly remarkable, leading up and down, and joining up with
a whole vault of tunnels and caves, some of which have endless steps carved into
A bunch of the
crew are kidnapped and taken in to the temple in the mountain. Jack and Mafumu
are left in order to find a way in. There are sacrifices happening for the sun
on the mountain top. Prince Paul was elected as the next to be sacrificed. By
then children are united with their parents.
Using the knowledge regarding the forthcoming
eclipse of the sun, Mr. Arnold threatens the mountain folk that he will destroy
the sun unless they release the crew. The author subsequently describes the
solar eclipse, so vividly and accurately along with their safe return giving
the story a happy ending.
Enid Blyton uses
characters, in a way expressing her feeling toward gender dissimilarities,
colour dissimilarities where sometimes she had been criticized for labeling all
the thieves, masterful con-men, smugglers and kidnappers as non- English men
who are almost all the times happen to be foreigners. In this story of course,
it has to be pretty obvious that the tribal people whom held the parents and
later the rest imprisoned needed to be non-English men.
Anyway the bravery
of the children is pretty amazing that they fearlessly volunteer to rescue
their parents flying to Africa, despite being small children. As she suggests
in conversations between adult characters, the society is seeking for boys and
girls with spirit and courage, who can stand on their own without being afraid
of what may happen. But in this story unlike in the others where children are
all alone, here they have Pilscu and Ranni to help them, as well as their
parents once they are rescued since the adventures are too much for them to
As a matter of
fact, it is quite hard to believe the architecture throughout this cage of the
sun-worshippers including the chief’s lift that is described as a golden cage that’s
hoisted up and down from the throne room via a vertical shaft by twenty men
hauling on ropes. On the other hand, the fact that they didn’t use the guns
that Pilescu and Ranni had, even in the times which those become really
essential to scare the tribal people to save prince Paul from the sacrifice is
quite unusual. But as for the story, the rescue is much more exciting and
imaginative without the use of guns.
Anyhow with all
the superficial and real adventures throughout the story, this can be stated as
the best and the most happening story among the rest of the books in secret