Into the Book


“There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys. The little princess had never seen the sky at night as the people were much too afraid of the goblins living in the subterranean caverns to let her out of the house then; and they had good reason, as we shall see.”

Thus says the back cover, which describes the premise of the story better than I can. The Princess and the Goblin is a vivid story, illustrating the importance of faith and trust, and the inevitable struggle with unbelief, in a simple fantasy setting.

If there is an underlying theme, it’s faith, and it is wonderfully threaded into the story without being a distraction in any way. MacDonald tells a story that resonates deeply with the human desire to trust, and be trusted.

The older writing style is quite different from what I normally read, and the narrative style is quite different from what you’ll usually find in new books today, but I found both more charming than distracting (most of the time). I felt they added to the character and experience of the book in a good way.

I won’t say that the characters are marvelously detailed, deep, and complex, but I will say that I fell in love with several of them, and hated several others, through the course of the book. I think the simplicity with which they were crafted lends them a special beauty that would be lost had MacDonald tried too hard to describe every detail, or look too closely at them.

For such a short book, it did take me awhile to read to the end. It does take a bit of time for the story to really get going, and it can be easy to put back down until then. But, having persisted in finishing the story, I can honestly say it was worth it, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

~ Jeremiah

Published on 8 October, 2014. Last updated on

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