One of the most successful and beloved Victorian fairy tales... The Princess and the Goblin is the story of Princess Irene and her friend Curdie, who come face to face with the dreaded mountain goblins. This children's fantasy novel was originally published in 1872. It uses subtle layers of symbolism to tell a story of courage and honor.
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Enjoyable listen to
Curdie and Princess Irene. They complement each other well enough, even when they (quite litterally) don't see eye-to-eye on a subject. Curdie's strong and smart from working in the mines his whole life, and thus much more informed on the situation they're dealing with. While Irene, having been kept safe in her castle is a little more naive, but learns quickly.
Her voice is very soothing to listen to, and she does a great narrative on attempting different voices for each character and it sounds like she's actually nestling down to read the book to a child before bedtime.
Having attempted to read a copy of this book and misplacing it shortly after the animated film was released years ago, it's nice to be able to finish it, having found it available on Audible.The story is every bit as entertaining here as it was when I was first introduced to it, though I still have questions involving Irene's grandmother that never truly get answered by either version.It's also interesting to notice the differences between the book and movie; Irene's name having been pronounced as if the "E" at the end were a "Y" or "Ie" in the movie, Hairlip's name being Froglip and the Goblin Queen his real mother rather than a stepmother, the actual ages of Curdie and the Princess being given, Curdie's song is completely different, everyone knows the goblins exist except Irene, rather than only the miners, etc. These didn't detract from my enjoyment, but gave me a moment of pause, realizing how different they were. I half expected to learn that Hairlip's mother and the grandmother were somehow one and the same, but I'm glad they didn't take that route, though she remains the most mysterious character in the story; is she real, a dream, a ghost, a witch, an enchantress? We don't know! Clearly the princess isn't going mad, because her father and Curdie's mother have both seen the old woman. This just adds to the confusion of who or what she really is.Finally, the story is fun to listen to. Curdie meets a couple of women out on the road after dark, notices the Goblins are out and about, and scares the goblins off, learning the younger girl is the princess, he leads them home to safety, taking notice that the Goblins aren't happy with his interference, he finds his way into their domain to discover what they were really doing. His adventures, and those of the princess's bring them to a point where their paths cross once more, this time, she rescues him. They soon find they're both in over their heads with a common enemy. It's your standard "boy-meets-and-rescues-the-princess" fair, but when you've got characters that you can invest in, that never gets old, no matter how many times it's told.
- Brad Bramblett
Excellent spiritual allegory well read