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Princess and Curdie [Hardcover]

George MacDonald
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1900
The Princess and Curdie George MacDonald's fantasy novel and the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin. The story continues with Princess Irene and Curdie a year or two older. They must overthrow a set of corrupt ministers who are poisoning Irene's father, the king. Irene's grandmother reappears and gives Curdie a strange gift. A monster called Lina aids his quest.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

Michael Phillips has written four dozen books, most of them novels, with sales totaling over five million copies. He also has edited George MacDonald novels for today's reader, including, The Curate of Glaston. He and his wife make their home in Eureka, California.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Curdie was the son of Peter the miner. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good sequel March 11 2003
Most sequels stink. A lot. George MacDonald, the first fantasy master, managed to buck that trend with the sequel to "The Princess and the Goblin," with "The Princess and Curdie." If anything, this book is even better than the first -- a bit more mature, a little bit darker, but with the same haunting prose and likeable characters.
In the time since the defeat of the goblins, Curdie has gone back to his life as a miner. Unfortunately he also begins to stray from the pure actions he showed in the first book, pushing aside thoughts of Princess Irene's grandmother and trying to convince himself that the more supernatural events of "Goblin" were just imagination. Until he needlessly wounds a pigeon with his bow and arrow, and takes it to the stately, mysterious Grandmother.
As Curdie regains his innocence and his faith, the Lady sends him on a quest, with a weird doglike creature called Lina who was once a human. She also (by having him stick his hands into burning roses) makes his hands able to feel a person's soul when he touches them, if a person is "growing into a beast" on the inside. Now Curdie and Lina set off for the capital, where Irene's father is physically ill, and falling prey to the scheming of his sinister officials.
If the first book was Irene's, then this book is undeniably Curdie's. The focus is on him almost constantly through the book, and it's his internal struggles that we are fascinated by. Every person (well, most of them, anyway) eventually loses their childlike faith and innocence, as Curdie has begun to do at the beginning. He's naturally a more skeptical person than Irene, and so time begins to fade whatever he thought he saw; also, being "one of the guys" in the mine requires a seemingly more mature attitude.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A morality tale Feb. 9 2010
This book is a sequel to The Princess and the Goblin, except that this time, the story mostly follows Curdie.

Princess Irene has gone off to live with her father the King, but something is going very wrong in the kingdom. Curdie, who doubted the Princess' word about meeting her great-great-great-grandmother in the attic in the first book, has done his best to forget all about the supernatural events in that story. But, when he injures a pigeon on a whim, he remembers that pigeons belong to the Lady, and in his remorse he makes his way to that same attic to ask for help. The Lady tells him that some of the people in the kingdom are turning to beasts inside, and gives him a strange travelling companion and the ability to tell whether a person is human or beastly inside by shaking their hand. So, he sets off, and, after many adventures and some clever plans of his own, he manages to save the princess, the king, and the kingdom.

Just as with The Princess and the Goblin, the story is basically a morality tale, but MacDonald's imaginative situations and characterisations keep the book from seeming trite or shallow.
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´¿The Princess and Curdie´¿ is a superb sequel to the brilliant children´¿s fantasy ´¿The Princess and the Goblin´¿. In both books, MacDonald displays his incredible talent as a story-teller for children, by crafting a tale that makes great reading aloud material for children. Curdie, a miner´¿s son, is sent by a magical princess on an urgent quest to save the king and his kingdom. His companion is Lina, an ugly monster of a dog who proves to be a steadfast, powerful and courageous companion. Curdie discovers that evil and wickedness threaten to overthrow the good kingdom of the king and his daughter Irene, and it is only when Curdie and Lina escape perils and dangers and marshal together the forces of good that the dangers can be overcome.
In the process of telling the story, MacDonald entertains a few curious notions rather surprising for a Christian. Especially surprising are the ideas of a mountain being bubbles of heat thrust from the center of the earth (p.2), and the earth being a cooled body that flew off the sun (p.3) ´¿ ideas more akin to evolutionary thinking than Christian faith in the Biblical teaching about creation. This book is also somewhat different from ´¿The Princess and the Goblin´¿ on a literary level, because in this book MacDonald´¿s story-telling at times employs vocabulary and sentence structure that is overly complex for children, and at times he waxes overly philosophical.
But those weaknesses aside, it´¿s a thrilling and captivating story of an exciting quest, enhanced by deeper underlying Christian themes. MacDonald describes the king as ´¿a real king ´¿ that is, one who ruled for the good of his people and not to please himself.´¿ (p.5).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first Feb. 23 1997
By A Customer
One of the few sequels better than its predecessor, this is a beautiful fairy tale about a young boy who saves a kingdom from its greed and selfishness. George MacDonald has taken a more social turn in this book in comparison to the first, "The Princess and the Goblin", dealing with human nature in a most clever way. It's only a fairy tale, of course; but it's one of my favorites
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