The Princess and Curdie

George MacDonald
Grade / Age level: 

The Princess and Curdie continues the fantasy saga begun in MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin. This novel gets off to a slower start than the first one in the series, but it is just as attention-holding. Curdie, the young hero, is put to the test in this story, and must prove himself both brave and loyal, whilst remaining trustworthy and honest. In this story, Curdie is given the gifts of a magic of his own that can only be used for others and a faithful but unusual traveling companion. His quest takes him to the home of the Princess and provides a grand adventure, with the final suspenseful battle calling him to give his best.

This novel takes place just a short time after the events in the previous book and is best enjoyed by reading the first tale first. This classic work is also written on many different levels, and numerous allegorical references to Christianity are present. The ending is expected yet surprising and leaves the reader wanting more. We read this book in an inexpensive paperback edition, and we found the "word pictures" wonderful for stirring the imagination. I have been on the lookout for an illustrated edition to compare the artist's ideas with my own. The children also adored this story, although my 9 and 12-year-olds liked it best.

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