The Secret of Falcon Heights by Ranjit Lal is an adventure story of two brothers, a kid sister and their dog, when they go to stay with their great aunt Mita Masi, in the remote hill station of Pahadpur.
Seventeen year old Sandeep, thirteen year old Manish and seven year old Chubs, along with their dog Jacko, have to stay at Falcon Ridge of Pahadpur, because their scientist father has to go to America for a research project and their mother is no more.
Next door is Falcon Heights, where a mysterious girl and her mother live. The family is treated as outcasts by the townsfolk, and the children are forbidden to have anything to do with them.
But Aranya, the girl next door, intrigues them, when they see her flying a falcon every morning. That she also juggles knives and performs magic, adds to her eerie image. Her strange ways and the warnings of the townsfolk notwithstanding, the children befriend her, and Sandeep eventually gets to know of her past.
Is he to believe her or not? There are only two possible stories and only one of them can be true.
It is at this point that Parul, the daughter of General Sukhdev Singh enters, and with her help, the children hope to unravel the mystery.
What is the connection that Sailesh, the over-polite and over-decent son of the local politician, has to Aranya’s past? Do the events unfold as they hope?
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- The perfect plot for a children’s adventure, that I go so far as to say that Ranjit Lal is the Enid Blyton of India. A Blytonesque adventure along the lines of the Famous Five, but set in India and very well adapted to the Indian setting makes it an awesome read.
- I have always felt that the dangers the children face in the Famous Five series are mild and never seem real. In this book, Ranjit gives a taste of what kind of dangers could await adventurous children in the real world.
- The writing and the descriptions of the hill station and the events is so evocative that I reread several passages just to enjoy the feel of the words flowing.
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- Make a note that this book is meant for young adults and not for children.