The Princess And The Goblin by George MacDonaldThe Princess And The Goblin by George MacDonald

The Princess And The Goblin

byGeorge MacDonaldIntroduction byUrsula K. Le Guin

Paperback | June 9, 2011

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Princess Irene lives in a castle in a wild and lonely mountainous region. One day she discovers a steep and winding stairway leading to a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doors - and a further stairway. What lies at the top? Can the ring the princess is given protect her against the lurking menace of the boglins from under the mountain?
Ursula Le Guin was born in Berkley, California, in 1929, daughter of the writer Theodora Krober and the anthropologist Alfred Krober. Her published work includes twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation. Among her novels are...
Title:The Princess And The GoblinFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7 × 5.13 × 0.69 inPublished:June 9, 2011Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141332484

ISBN - 13:9780141332482

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this story! The Princess and the Goblin was one of my favourite movies when I was little, and I had no idea it was based off of a novel. When I found this book as an adult, I was ecstatic! The story is so great and reading it gives me the same feelings as watching the movie did.
Date published: 2018-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Children's Fantasy Literature Rec age 11 I read MacDonald's "The Princess and the Goblin" for a 300 level University English course (Children's Literature). I'd consider the book average, and as inventive as any other fantasy novel focused for age 11-13. The last third of the book does wrap up rather quickly compared to a detailed start, but has clearly defined protagonists/antagonists that are morally rewarded/punished for their behavior...a factor I feel most children's fantasy fulfills. Neither feminine or masculine focused, the book is acceptable for both girls and boys, each having a same sex protagonist to identify with.
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Fantasy Literature MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin is an engaging piece of fantasy literature. The style of writing and word choice used make it both accessible to youth as well as adults.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite! This is one of my top 10 favs! I can't stop re-reading it. I watched the toon as a kid, and when I found out there was a book I ran out to buy it! And it's sequel. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is one of my favourites! Out of all the books I own, this is one of my all time favourites. Top 10. I loved the cartoon as a child, and when I found out as an adult that there was a book, I ran out to my first Indigo store to purchase! I also found out about the sequel! I ordered both. I can't stop re-reading them now.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best One of the best fantasy stories every written.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Timeless Tale When I was a wee little thing I happened to come across the 1994 animated film adaptation of this believed children's classic and fell in love with it. It wasn't until recently (this year) that I realized that it was based on a classic piece of children's literature so when I found out I did some investigating and downloaded the kobo e-book version onto my BlackBerry and before I knew it I was reading it every chance I got. Right away though I noticed that there were of course some key differences. Since the movie I watched was a 1994 film there were some changes made to the story line. It was made to be more accessible to the modern audience but for what it was I enjoyed the book version as well. The story was a fun one and normally I'm not one for the classics but this was a good one. It was enjoyable though I sometimes felt that the story lacked the flow of a more modern novel but that is in part due to the audience it was written for back in 1872. For me, while my tastes are lean towards the more modern I did enjoy the book. I though Irene was a cute character. Her curiosity while it almost lead to her ruin was adorable to see play out on the pages, though I didn't like the demeaning way she treated Curdie the local boy who saved hers and her nursemaid's skin one night. Then again she was a princess and a very young one at that so I suppose I could excuse her attitude. Curdie though had to be my favourite character because of how smart, self reliant and courageous manner. He was the main character for me because much of the book centered around his activities in finding the goblins, and figuring out their master plan. The writing was good, it intrigued me but as I stated before the flow put me off a bit. I think that it was a lovely little children's classic and it deserves a spot on every kid's bookshelf because their a princess for the girls to admire and a hero for the boys. Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone young and old. This would be a good book for a night time read aloud book for kids or to be read by teachers to their classes. I'm a strong believer that though a book is older it should not lose its place on out bookshelves. I plan on reading the sequel to this book in 2013.
Date published: 2012-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best fantasy stories I've ever read Eight-year-old Princess Irene resides in a remote castle with her nurse Lootie and several other servants while her papa-king travels all over his kingdom. The reason that the Princess lives in seclusion is that the goblins who dwell under the mountain have sworn revenge on the king’s family. In addition, she has a mysterious and magical great-great-grandmother who is watching over her but who is seen by nobody else besides her. Also, she becomes friends with a twelve-year-old boy named Curdie who is the son of a local miner. When Irene and Lootie get lost after dark while on a walk in the mountains and are chased by goblins, they first meet Curdie who protects them from the goblins and helps to get them home safely. He pledges himself to guard the Princess. The goblins have hatched a double plot in which they plan to steal Irene to become the wife of their Prince Harelip and to use the mines to flood the castle. While working in the mines, Curdie overhears part of their plans but is captured and imprisoned by the goblins. However, Irene’s grandmother gives her a special thread by which she is led to rescue Curdie and get both of them back home again. Curdie sneaks onto the castle grounds one night to see if he can learn more about the goblins’ plans but is mistaken for a prowler by the king’s guards and shot with an arrow. He not only is imprisoned but also becomes quite sick with a fever. It is during this very time that the goblins mount their attack. Will they be successful? Will the Princess be saved or will she become the bride of Harelip? And what will happen to Curdie? Scottish-born author George MacDonald (1824-1905), though theologically considered a heretic, was a masterful storyteller who is often credited with inventing the genre of children’s fantasy literature and influenced such later youth fantasy writers as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Madeline L’Engle. MacDonald began his literary career by telling fairy stories to his eleven children and then putting onplays for the poor in his neighborhood with his large family as the cast. His first such novel was At the Back of the North Wind published in 1871. The Princess and the Goblin was serialized in a journal called Good Words for the Young between 1870 and 1871 and then published in book form the following year. To be honest, this is one of the most fascinating and enjoyable books that I have ever read. The story of the Princess Irene and her friend Curdie continues in a sequel, The Princess and Curdie. I guess that I’ll just have to read it too.
Date published: 2012-08-23

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1Why the Princess Has a Story about HerThere was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys. His palace was built upon one of the mountains and was very grand and beautiful. The princess, whose name was Irene, was born there, but she was sent soon after her birth, because her mother was not very strong, to be brought up by country people in a large house, half castle, half farmhouse, on the side of another mountain, about halfway between its base and its peak.The princess was a sweet little creature and at the time my story begins was about eight years old, I think, but she got older very fast. Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue. Those eyes, you would have thought, must have known they came from there, so often were they turned up in that direction. The ceiling of her nursery was blue with stars in it, as like the sky as they could make it. But I doubt if ever she saw the real sky with the stars in it, for a reason, which I had better mention at once.These mountains were full of hollow places underneath, huge caverns and winding ways, some with water running through them and some shining with all colors of the rainbow when a light was taken in. There would not have been much known about them had there not been mines there, great deep pits, with long galleries and passages running off from them, which had been dug to get at the ore of which the mountains were full. In the course of digging the miners came upon many of these natural caverns. A few of them had far-off openings out on the side of a mountain or into a ravine.Now in these subterranean caverns lived a strange race of beings, called by some gnomes, by some kobolds, by some goblins. There was a legend current in the country that at one time they lived above ground and were very like other people. But for some reason or other, concerning which there were different legendary theories, the king had laid what they thought too severe taxes upon them, or required observances of them they did not like, or had begun to treat them with more severity in some way or other, and to impose stricter laws; and the consequence was that they had all disappeared from the face of the country. According to the legend, however, instead of going to some other country they had all taken refuge in the subterranean caverns, whence they never came out but at night, and then seldom showed themselves in any numbers and never to many people at once. It was only in the least frequented and most difficult parts of the mountains that they were said to gather, even at night in the open air. Those who had caught sight of any of them said that they had greatly altered in the course of generations; and no wonder, seeing they lived away from the sun, in cold and wet and dark places. They were now, not ordinarily ugly, but either absolutely hideous or ludicrously grotesque both in face and form. There was no invention, they said, of the most lawless imagination expressed by pen or pencil, that could surpass the extravagance of their appearance. And as they grew misshapen in body, they had grown in knowledge and cleverness and now were able to do things no mortal could see the possibility of. But as they grew in cunning, they grew in mischief, and their great delight was in every way they could think of to annoy the people who lived in the open-air story above them. They had enough of affection left for each other to preserve them from being absolutely cruel for cruelty's sake to those that came in their way; but still they so heartily cherished the ancestral grudge against those who occupied their former possession, and especially against the descendants of the king who had caused their expulsion, that they sought every opportunity of tormenting them in ways that were as odd as their inventors; and although dwarfed and misshapen, they had strength equal to their cunning. In the process of time they had got a king and a government of their own, whose chief business, beyond their own simple affairs, was to devise trouble for their neighbors. It will now be pretty evident why the little princess had never seen the sky at night. They were much too afraid of the goblins to let her out of the house then, even in company with ever so many attendants; and they had good reason, as we shall see by and by.