Our rating: *****

On his 21st birthday, Andos, our hero, received, along with certain legal rights, the keys to an old desk of his father’s, which he has longed to examine for quite some time. Upon opening the desk he meets a fairy lady who tells him that he will find his way into fairy land on the following morning. Her prediction proves correct, and Andos finds himself in the world of fairies, where he meets living trees, queer people, dangerous beings, and all sorts of adventures—at times beautiful, at times horrible—and learns not to get so caught up in pursuing the ideal that he forgets the good.

This book is a dream, in more ways than one. It is one of my favorites. A classic fairytale, but full of beautiful word pictures and great thoughts. And some nice poetry, too. It is very like a dream because it flows from one encounter to another, sometimes with reason, other times with seeming randomness, but always as a coherent whole. The only two drawbacks with the book are, first: there is quite a bit of romance. Andos seems to have trouble with controlling his eyes, and falls in “love” with several fay, and this “love” is presented as a high idea. Second: the after-life is presented as a happy, loving, “one-with-the-world-around-you” existence. Read this with discernment, separating the pretty from the true or false.

The Princess and Curdie

Our rating: ***½

About a year after the events in The Princess and the Goblin, Curdie is sent by the older princess Irene to the city of Gwyntystorm, where the king and his daughter are now living. The old princess gives Curdie two things to help him complete his unknown task: Lina, the frightening animal, and a way to tell the true character of any person. On his arrival at Gwyntystorm, Curdie finds that the whole city hates the king and is excessively evil. Even the king’s courtiers are planning to take over the kingdom by poisoning the king. With only three loyal people in the palace, not counting the young princess Irene, Curdie must administer justice to all the wrongdoers in the king’s household.

In case you skipped the first part of the review, The Princess and Curdie is the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin. Younger readers may enjoy the story, but older readers will most likely catch the more subtle facts that a younger reader would miss. The young princess doesn’t appear in the story until about halfway through the book. I may have enjoyed The Princess and Curdie a little more if she had been in the story longer. However, it is still a very good, memorable read and Lina helps to make up for the princess’ smaller part.


Our rating: ***

This is the story of a gentleman named Anodos and his visit to fairyland. But believe me, this is no run-of-the-mill fairyland. During his travels, Anodos meets fairies, imp-ish, grand or otherwise, dangerous trees, his own shadow, knights, and eventually falls in love with a mysterious lady. Unfortunately, he dies in the end of the book, so it’s a little disappointing.

I’m not sure how to describe this book. It’s written in the older style so you really have to think about what you’re reading. That can be fun, or tiring, depending on your mood. For an example, this is the first sentence: “I awoke one morning with the usual perplexity of mind that accompanies the return of consciousness.” This book ranges all over, from statues coming to life, to evil trees (shivers), to impish young fairies, to love. It can make your head spin! But I do enjoy it.

The Princess and the Goblin

Our rating: *****

Princess Irene finds her great-great-grandmother and eventually the princess gets a ring from her that will lead her to her great-great-grandmother, also called Irene. One day, Princess Irene and her nurse go for a walk up the mountain and don’t realize how late it was until it’s almost dark. The nurse panics, because it’s against the king’s orders to be out after dark, since the night was the goblins’ day and there were many of the creatures in the mountain, and they began running down the mountain. They met Curtie, a miner’s brave boy, who rescued them from any dangers of goblins by rhyming verses, which is one way of defeating goblins.

Great book! I didn’t stay away from this book very much! I started it last night and finished it a little earlier today. I found out there’s a sequel to this book called The Princess and Curdie. Also, let me tell you that the summary I wrote is definitely not all the plot!!! There’s a bunch to this book. Adventures, rescue, and magic. This book might not be best for readers about 7 or 8 and under, depending on how easily you’re scared. Though there are some big-words-that-I-wasn’t-sure-what-they-meant in The Princess and the Goblin, this is still a good book!

At the Back of the North Wind

Our rating: ***

When Diamond, a little boy, meets the North Wind, he goes on several adventures with her, riding safely in her arms or her hair. (Yes, you read that right, in her hair. She has lots of it.) At one point, Diamond even gets into the place at the back of the North Wind, where everything is wonderful. In his everyday life, Diamond soon becomes friends with a little orphan girl and does what he can to help her. He and his family go through several ups and downs and, unfortunately, the book ends sadly.

Well, actually, it wasn’t too sad when I re-read it for this review. I will warn you, though, that this is not the kind of book you can skim through! Unless, of course, you’ve read it half-a-dozen times and almost know it by heart. (Which I haven’t.) If you skip around in this book, you will most likely end up either Clueless and Baffled, or Mixed-up and Puzzled. Take your pick. Anyway, this is another almost nonsense book, a lot like The Garden Behind the Moon, (Do I sense a title theme here?) and it is very fun to read. Oh, and there’s also some poetry in it, too.