In the Bookcase


Book Review: The Princess and Curdie

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald (4 star review)

The Princess and Curdie

written by George MacDonald

256 pages // published in 1883 // children's fiction // fairy tale

My Review...

4 Star Rating

Son of a miner, Curdie, who we met back in the first story ("The Princess and the Goblin") returns for another fantastic adventure from Scottish writer George MacDonald.

There are many types of symbolism that MacDonald has used to illustrate the walk in a Christian lifestyle. For example, Curdie is given the ability to determine whether a person is truly a man or has beast qualities (good vs. evil). This shows that one's judgement of humankind should never be based on outward assumptions -- but one must always look to the heart to find the true intentions of another person. The main theme of the tale illustrates how to have faith in the midst of your battles, even when blind to what may be happening in the big picture -- still, always keeping the faith (and trusting God's power).

"The Princess and Curdie" is considered a children's fairy tale -- but a rather dark one at that, with some battling and minor violence.

Overall? It contains some hard truths, that for our modern age of readers, it may be hard to digest spiritually. But it is good, definitely good, to hear these things that MacDonald has to tell us.

The Princess and Curdie is available on Amazon as hardcover, paperback, audio and e-book.

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*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Fantasy Love February -- {Art!}

Fantasy Love February: Mini-Challenge Two

For this Mini-Challenge, I was supposed to create some "fantastic" art about a fantasy book I'm reading this month. It sounded like fun to me!

As a graphic artist, my favorite medium to work with is digital art. So, I put together a piece of blog art, depicting my favorite illustration in The Magician's Nephew, coupled with my favorite passage.

To me, this piece opens up wonderment to a curious imagination. Had Digory and Polly not ventured further, Narnia would never have been discovered!

So, here's my submission in the Mini-Challenge. Enjoy, and you're welcome to re-share it elsewhere if you like it.

Make your choice, adventurous Stranger, Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had.


Book Review: Princess Academy

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (3 star review)

Princess Academy

written by Shannon Hale

314 pages // published in 2005 // children's fiction // fairytale

My Review...

3 Star Rating

Miri is a young girl who lives in a mountain village, where, for generations, her people have mined in the quarry for their precious stone.

When the king's ministers visit Mount Eskel to say that the prince will choose one of their girls as his bride, shock ripples through the village. Why would they choose such a small place to choose such an important person from -- especially from girls who know nothing about becoming a princess? Thus, an academy is set up on the mountain, and all girls of age must attend for a year to learn EVERYTHING -- from grammar to history to etiquette.

Brought into the story is a telepathic element -- the people of Mount Eskel can mentally send phrases to each other when in the mine surrounded by the special type of stone they excavate. This element didn't seem out of place in a fairytale sort of story, and it showed how well these people worked together in a close-knit community.

It's a very simple sort of story -- fairytale sweet. It's charming enough, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would have. I did like how Miri persevered in her challenges and attempted to learn about and conquer a "wall" in her life. She tries to help her village the best she can, even though she thinks little of her capabilities.

Princess Academy is available on Amazon as hardcover, paperback and e-book.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Joining the Fantasy Love February reading challenge!

My bloggy friend Grace (who blogs over at Fictionally) is hosting a reading challenge this month -- it's called Fantasy Love February!

Fantasy books, or anything related to fairy tales qualifies as part of the reading challenge. I have a few books in mind that I've had on my TBR list -- and this is the perfect time for me to read them!

Fantasy Love February: Mini-Challenge One

Today I'm sharing a list of the books I plan to read for Grace's fantasy challenge this month!

Perhaps you'll find something to read for the challenge too?

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Quest for the Beast: A Beauty and the Beast story by Sarah Holman

Waltz into the Waves: A Cinderella Story by Sarah Holman

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale


Book Review: Further Chronicles of Avonlea

Further Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (5 star review)

Further Chronicles of Avonlea

written by L.M. Montgomery

208 pages // published in 1920 // fiction // short stories

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Ah! A delightful montage of shorts from the same Canadian author who brought us Anne of Green Gables.

To recognize a few of my new favorites...

The Materializing of Cecil On her birthday, Miss Charlotte, now 40, decides to make a change in her life. One that involves telling a falsehood -- that she indeed did have a beau at one time. And then -- the lie comes to life.

The Dream-Child
How a grieving woman who lost her infant son replaces him with a strange little boy that appears out of the ocean one day. A touching story.

The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily
Revisit Anne and Diana again! Young Anne Shirley's imagination captivates the reader with the precious bundle that old Miss Emily leaves behind upon her death...

The Son of His Mother
Thyra Carewe intends to always keep her son's love, and strictly believes no other woman will ever enter his life to direct his thoughts away -- except one day "she" appears. What will the tragic consequences be?

I certainly enjoyed some new favorites from L.M. Montgomery. She charms her way through each of her writings. And I loved getting to meet familiar faces again such as Marilla and Mrs. Rachel Lynde of Avonlea.

The table of contents:
Aunt Cynthia's Persian Cat
The Materializing of Cecil
Her Father's Daughter
Jane's Baby
The Dream-Child
The Brother Who Failed
The Return of Hester
The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily
Sara's Way
The Son of His Mother
The Education of Betty
In Her Selfless Mood
The Conscience Case of David Bell
Only a Common Fellow
Tannis of the Flats

"Her poor father, now--he always said that a woman who liked books better than beaux was an unnatural creature." -L.M. Mongomery (The Education of Betty)

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

Further Chronicles of Avonlea is available on Amazon in paperback.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!