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The Princess and the Goblin Hardcover

46 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375895256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375895258
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Franklin Waters on August 14, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not written any reviews before but I felt that the works of George MacDonald deserved reviews to bring the works of this forgotten genius back to the light of day. Especially as you can get many of them for free on your kindle. It must first be understood that George MacDonald inspired such authors as J.R.R. Tolkien, W.H. Auden, Madeline L'Engle and E. Nesbit. C.S. Lewis regarded him as his master. If you are a fan of these authors then you might want to seriously consider exploring the works of one who inspired them.

To me the Princess and the Goblin is a fairy tale. Unlike most fairy tales that are stories passed down through the ages George MacDonald wrote this one in 1872. While I have no doubt that he took many things from legend and lore and fairy tales it is nonetheless his own tale. In reading this story I felt that I was a child again reading a wondrous story where anything could happen. MacDonald knows magic and weaves magic in his tale. He also knows how Faerie and the realms of Faerie works. Having been a fan of Tolkien most of my life I have read many of his essays on the realm and I recognize the strange laws of the realm that are difficult to put down to paper but you recognize them even if you can't communicate them yourself.

The story flows quickly and is lively as it revolves around the adventures of a little girl, the Princess Irene and at times the humble honest and wise miner boy Curdie. As they have their misadventures with the Goblins under the mountain you become aware of the guidance of Irene's mysterious and magical Great-Great Grandmother who wields a powerful yet subtle magic. She never takes a direct hand in things in this story but like a Fairy Godmother constantly helps Irene to help herself. The story is simply delightful.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's a credit to "Princess and the Goblin" that its author was a personal favorite (and shaping influence) to fantasy titans C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Fortunately, George MacDonald's early fantasy tale is a story that can easily stand on its own -- it's a mixture of shimmering magic and dark grimy bleakness, written in lushly fantastical prose. The childlike princess can be a little annoying at times, but otherwise this book is a gem.

Little Princess Irene has always been kept in ignorance of the goblins by her overprotective father and nursemaid. But one night when she and her nursemaid stay out a bit too late, they are chased by a bizarre creature... only to be rescued by a young miner boy, Curdie. Since goblins are a job hazard for the miners, Curdie tells her about the goblins and how to scare them away.

But not even singing can fend off the problems that are brewing. While mining, Curdie ends up wandering into the underground caverns where the goblins dwell, and uncovers a horrifying plot to take control of the above-ground kingdom. Meanwhile, Irene explores a mysterious tower where her magical "great-grandmother" lives, and is sent on a magical quest that leads her to Curdie... but can two children stop a goblin invasion?

"The Princess and the Goblin" is one of those novels that feels like someone dug up an old forgotten fairy tale, polished it and released it on the world -- we have goblins, monsters, a humble young hero, a brave princess and a magical goddess-like figure who bestows magical items every now and then. MacDonald balances it all out nicely, and there's a freshness to his story that steers it away from cliches.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Song on November 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I much prefer Sci-fi to fairy tales and downloaded this to see if the kids would like it. THis book was written over 100 years ago but it is very understandable and engaging. I was very pleasantly surprised and unable to stop reading until I had finished the book. Although there are some aspects of fairy tales, the books characters and plot feel original.

Young Princess Irene is a typical little girl, very curious and precocious with a big heart, although being a princess, she does not lie and is well-behaved. She makes friends with a miner boy who saves her from the goblins when she accidently stays out too late, but can he save her from their plot to kidnap her?

After reading this, I am surprised that I had never before heard of George MacDonald. I will be reading more of his works.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Laustic on April 23, 2015
Format: Hardcover
WARNING: There are two different versions of "The Princess and the Goblin." I can't tell you which one this is because Amazon mixes up the reviews of different editions. The original version begins, "There was once a little princess who—
"But, Mr. Author, why do you always write about princesses?"
"Because every little girl is a princess."
"You will make them vain if you tell them that."
"Not if they understand what I mean."
"Then what do you mean?"
"What do you mean by a princess?"
"The daughter of a king."
"Very well, then every little girl is a princess…"
Sometime after MacDonald's death, his editors apparently decided that this passage was too Christian, and removed it. To cover up what they had done, they removed the other two occasions where the narrator is interrupted, one in Chapter 3 and one at the very end. This mutilated version is the one now published by Puffin, Dover, Looking Glass, and pretty much every other publisher and self-publisher, most of whom wrongly claim to be 'Complete and unabridged'. (For example, the one with no publisher's name but with the orange roses on the cover)
On top of that, most of the editions which do have the original text either have no illustrations or are self-published with atrocious editing and formatting, or both. The only decent-quality editions are that of Charming Classics, without illustrations, and that of Rossignol Books, with the original Arthur Hughes illustrations. There may be some others, but you'll have to look long and hard for them.
Hope this helps!
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