Why on earth did Bill have to bring the wimpish Gustavus with them on holiday? Neither Jack nor Kiki the parrot like the boy at all. But when Gustavus is kidnapped, along with Philip, Dinah, and Lucy-Ann, Jack must bravely follow them to a faraway country and unravel a plot to kill the king.
Just look at all that Blyton packs into a little over 100 pages: a kidnapped prince, an exotic locale, a stowaway, a daring rescue, secret passages galore, and a circus to boot! Whew. Yet, she weaves it all together with such finesse that each event follows the other in a perfectly plausible way.