Castle in the Air Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Castle in the Air.
This section contains 611 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Castle in the Air Summary & Study Guide Description

Castle in the Air Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones.

"Castle in the Air" by Diana Wynne Jones is the tale of Abdullah, a carpet merchant, and his quest to fulfill his fate.

The story begins: "Far to the south in the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, a young carpet merchant called Abdullah lived in the city of Zanzib. As merchants go, he was not rich. His father had been disappointed in him, and when he died, he had only left Abdullah just enough money to buy and stock a modest booth in the northwest corner of the Bazaar" (Chapter 1, p. 1).

Abdullah is rather satisfied with his lot in life at this point. He is making enough money to live and runs a relatively successful business. However, as it happens in most fairy tales, Abdullah is not without his troubles.

Abdullah is constantly reminded by his deceased father's family that he is an embarrassment and a disappointment. They also treat him as an ignorant child and make monthly visits to the Bazaar to chastise Abdullah, criticize him, and give unwanted advice. Abdullah has no love for his father's family, mainly his father's first wife's sister, Fatima; his father's first wife's uncle's son, Assif; and his father's first wife's brother's son, Hakim. Among these people, Abdullah detests his cousin Assif the most.

Over the years it became clear that nothing Abdullah could do would be enough satisfy his father or the rest of the family. Abdullah began to wish that he belong to another family, one that appreciated him. To compensate for the family's cruelty, Abdullah created an elaborate fantasy. In the fantasy, Abdullah, who was the son of a powerful and mighty prince, was kidnapped by the infamous bandit Kabul Aqba. Abdullah managed to get away. A man found him in the desert and took him home. That man became his father. Lately, Abdullah also began to fantasize about the princess that he had been betrothed to at birth.

The daydream is magical because it is everything Abdullah wants - or thinks he wants - and proves to be something quite different when a djinn uses magic to make it come true.

Things begin to change drastically for Abdullah when he buys a magic carpet from a stranger at the Bazaar. Abdullah is steeped in custom but is not a fool. He is skeptical when the stranger attempts to sell him a magic carpet. Even after seeing it in operation, Abdullah wonders if it really is magic. Abdullah's magical journey truly begins at this point in the story. Not only is Abdullah transported through magic to meet Flower-in-the-Night, but he soon encounters a genie who is enchanted and is forced to grant wishes.

After Flower-in-the Night is abducted by a powerful djinn, Abdullah sets his heart on finding her. He uses the magic carpet to attempt to find his beloved only to encounter bandits. This is where Abdullah acquires a surly genie. The genie loves to wreak havoc and will do so at any opportunity. It is the genie that leads Abdullah to the Red Lion where he meets a thief in the form of an old soldier. The pair travels together with very different purposes. Abdullah wants to find his princess and the old soldier wants to find his fortune.

The pair eventually ends up in the right place after suffering through a series of mishaps that usually involve powerful magic. Abdullah finds his princess and the old soldier, who is really a prince that has been enchanted, finds his rightful place. Along the way Abdullah has many profound moments that help him realize what is important and enables him to experience true happiness.

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This section contains 611 words
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Buy the Castle in the Air Study Guide
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