HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Princess and Curdie
Author: George MacDonald
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, republished in 2013
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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MacDonald, George. The Princess and Curdie (originally published in 1883 by Strahan and Co.; republished in 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). Thirteen year old Curdie lives with his father, Peter the miner, and his mother Joan in a cottage built on a mountain, and works with his father in the mines. After rescuing the Princess Irene from the goblins, as told in The Princess and the Goblin, Curdie has gone back to his life as a miner. However, Irene’s mysterious great-great-great-grandmother uses a wounded pigeon to bring Curdie to her so that she can send him on a mission to the King’s palace at Gwyntystorm. Irene’s father is physically ill and has fallen prey to the scheming of his sinister officials. Curdie, accompanied by a weird doglike creature called Lina who was once a human, sets off for the capital. What will he find is going on? Will he, Lina, and Irene be able to do anything that can deal with the plot against the King? How will things turn out in the end?
Most sequels are not as good as the original, but this case is an exception. Aside from a few references to drinking wine, there is really nothing objectionable. Of course, some fighting and even killing occur, but after all, this does represent the general battle between good and evil. The plot does take a little while to get moving, but overall The Princess and Curdie is a well-written fairy tale type of fantasy that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Oddly, it is currently a bit harder to find than the first story. My only suggestion is to bypass the CreateSpace edition. It was the only one available when I went to buy the book, and there is nothing necessarily wrong with it, but it is hard to hold. Another edition that was released by Puffin Classics in 1996 and illustrated by Helen Stratton is now being offered.