The Princess and the Goblin, Paperback Book

The Princess and the Goblin Paperback

Illustrated by Arthur Hughes

Part of the Puffin Classics series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


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?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic
  • ISBN: 9780141332482

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A rollicking children's fantasy novel written in 1872, The Princess & The Goblin by George MacDonald is fantastic! I do remember that my parents read me this book when I was a child, but since I could not remember anything else about the story – and was recently amazed by Phantastes – I decided to make this my favorite author read for August. Since it is also extremely short, I finished listening to it over the course of one long walk. The version I listened to I downloaded off of Overdrive, and was excellent, but both free versions on librivox sound very well done as well. If you couldn't tell already, I really loved this book. Which was an interesting contrast to my recent experience listening to Around The World in 80 days, that while three-star, left a lot to be desired from an adult reader's perspective. Beyond pure personal preference, I think this difference in satisfaction comes down to two key differences. The first one is simple, the glorification of colonialism, which is hard for most adults these days to swallow. The second, somewhat more complicated reason, is that one is a book from the perspective of an adult made appropriate for all ages, and the other is a story for children from the perspective of a child. So while the goblin king and queen's plans weren't quite as complicated as Game of Thrones, who doesn't like to be reminded of how much more exciting and creative the life of a child is?I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the feel of Spiderwick, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, or The House of Arden.

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