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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (10,839 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George MacDonald, Ian Whitcomb Narrator: Ian Whitcomb Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781400179404
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Young Princess Irene is sent to the country to be raised in a half-farmhouse, half-castle located in the side of a mountain. While exploring the top of the castle, Irene becomes lost and inexplicably finds her way to a mystifying and beautiful woman spinning a thread. Princess Irene discovers that this woman to which she is drawn is her great-great-grandmother. But after she returns, her nurse, Lootie, refuses to believe in the old woman’s existence, and the young princess cannot find the way back to her great-great-grandmother.

Days later, while on an outing with Lootie, Princess Irene believes that she detects a goblin. They meet a young miner, Curdie, who confirms her sighting. Soon Curdie discovers that goblins lurking under the castle have constructed an evil plot against the king and his palace. Princess Irene’s belief in her great-great-grandmother’s powers becomes essential as she and Curdie work to foil the sinister goblin plan. As the Princess tells Curdie, “Sometimes you must believe without seeing.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Che | 2/19/2014

    " If you like Tolkien you will quiver with delight and dread over the beauty and darkness of this book. MacDonald was an influence on Tolkien and Lewis, etc. In here you will find some of the seeds of the LOTR, such as hideous goblins and their dark, corrupt origins, cavernous journeys in subterranean mines of misty mountains, heroic innocence and magic. But the magic in MacDonald is perhaps more exotic and strange and beautiful than that of Tolkien. Invisible threads spun of spider's webs, flaming roses of medicinal ability, on on on beautiful and mysterious.... The goblins perhaps more sickening in that they're after children and described vaguely but terrifyingly as "absolutely hideous or ludicrously grotesque." Much beyond that is implied and haunting, leaving the reader to render them from the stuff of his/her dread. Further more there is nuance here, in that the goblins are not entirely evil, are in fact an old and repressed race forced into the mountains by humans, where they grew over generations dark and ugly, though intelligent and in some aspects civil. read it already it only takes a few hours. then you can read the sequel! Then read the something like a hundred other books he wrote. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 2/12/2014

    " I thought that it wasn't that great nor that bad. For a fantasy/magic book it was a little lacking. However, since George MacDonald's books inspired C.S. Lewis and Tolkien (who in turn inspired countless others) I felt that it was really good for the time period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal Puckett | 2/12/2014

    " I loved it! It is definitely now a favorite. This book is beautiful and charming; perfectly written. Great for children and adults alike. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/12/2014

    " delightful fairytale "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Launna | 2/10/2014

    " We listened to this on a road trip and it had us all engaged. It was a fun story. There were some parts that you didn't know whether to like or not, but overall, it works out and we liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Halle | 2/4/2014

    " This is my all time favorite book, homes. This and "Our Bodies Our Selves." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Smith Family | 1/30/2014

    " Excellent book!!! Everything by George MacDonald has been good so far. I've it's sequel (Princes and Curdie), part of At The Back of the North Wind, and The Light Princess. All those books are worth a large, happy five star. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 1/27/2014

    " I was reading this story for my thesis, and it was a sweet little old-fashioned fairytale with, of course, some pretty interesting illustrations (that's what I'm writing my thesis on). A quick, easy read, it still might be good with children of to get a sense of what children were reading in the nineteenth century in England. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolynn | 1/25/2014

    " Not my favorite tale, but I was engrossed enough to be highly annoyed when it ENDED in the middle of the freakin' story... one of these days, I will seek out book 2, but sheesh. Really?? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tessa | 1/24/2014

    " You know that a children's book is good when adults enjoy it. This book passes that test. Good read aloud. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deanna | 1/22/2014

    " This was a fun classic fairy tale complete with a little princess and "scary" goblins. This would be a fun read for both boys and girls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrian | 1/13/2014

    " Would be a fun book to read to kids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan | 1/10/2014

    " great story! I can't believe I only just discovered it. One to read to the kids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey Weise | 1/7/2014

    " I read it as a child, and loved it immensely. The goblin feet were amusing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 1/6/2014

    " I loved this book. I love all George MacDonald's work too. He is not only one of my favorite author's, but he is my other favorite author's favorite author. (C. S. Lewis) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacob Moya | 1/6/2014

    " I have read an abridged and loved it. I will read the unabridged. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 1/2/2014

    " This book is a lot like the Chronicles of Narnia, which isn't surprising since it inspired the Chronicles of Narnia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ria | 12/31/2013

    " Amazing! Simply amazing! This is like, the guy Tolkien learned from! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Joy | 12/31/2013

    " The last in a series of children's novels that I'll be reading this month! Having never read MacDonald before, I found his narration to be really top notch. I assume it will work really well for young people. This short and easy read definitely left me wanting to search out more MacDonald. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith Henning | 12/26/2013

    " enjoying this together on my Kindle :) A perfect book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsteen | 12/25/2013

    " One of my favourite children's books. Beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/19/2013

    " Good book, bought it at a flea market just for kicks turned out to be really good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzy | 12/11/2013

    " First fantasy book I understood! Great read! Didn't want to read about Goblins initially, but it is FANTASTIC. Don't forget the sequel The Princess & Curdie! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lena Tumasyan | 12/7/2013

    " Kind of spooky and filled with big words. I think it would be a little scary for a kid! But the story was kinda cool. I'm looking forward to reading the second part. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kian | 12/4/2013

    " On the surface a sweet story for children, but there are some really fun and deep concepts running through the story. I love how McDonald writes, funny deep and satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 12/2/2013

    " What a delightful children's story. I enjoyed it very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 12/2/2013

    " So good - a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 11/28/2013

    " Quite a good bedtime story book for reading to children. A bit scary and very wholesome. An excellent narrational voice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Koohiki | 11/27/2013

    " a classic! I loved it! I loved the movie growing up so i read the book. it is so unlike the movie yet still so interesting. This guy has some wierd stories and an even weirder way of telling them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marina | 11/27/2013

    " It was a great book and I think you should read it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 11/20/2013

    " What a delightful children's story. I enjoyed it very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Brookins | 11/14/2013

    " George macdonald is my hero. This is a great story. I read it to my boys and we are ever so thankful for the information about goblins. We are toe stomping goblin fighters and love making rhymes to scare them away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Russell | 11/4/2013

    " I adored this classic fairy tale - what fun! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 11/2/2013

    " MacDonald has such a strong, clear vision for what kind of man a boy should grow to be. Short, enjoyable and solid as Gibraltar. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 8/17/2013

    " What every children's story should be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly | 7/26/2013

    " Probably more of a 2 1/2. You must understand this has more to do with the style of storytelling in those days than anything else. The plot doesn't move in the same way a modern story would. But it is very imaginative and fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa C | 5/31/2013

    " This is the book that got me addicted to fantasy. I was in the 6th grade when I read it, and I will never forget it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elisabeth | 5/26/2013

    " It helps to know this fable is a Christian allergory - and was written late 1800s / early 1900s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachèl | 5/23/2013

    " It was a cute fairytale. More for 9 and under. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 4/7/2013

    " This is such a cute story, and wonderfully written. I'd recommend it for any and all ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christi Brewster | 3/29/2013

    " I had never read this classic and decided to buy it from a used bookstore. I liked it and intend to read the others with the Princess. I did not trust the "great-great grandmother" the entire book - thinking she intended harm to the Princess. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Arwen | 3/7/2013

    " My favorite work by George MacDonald is "The Light Princess" but this was okay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William J. Shep | 1/27/2013

    " An excellent fantasy adventure for children, old fashioned, but with a touch of the Lord of the Rings, which this predates by decades. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lalah | 11/29/2012

    " I enjoyed the story, but was so completely in pain over the narrator's inflection (Ambling Audio) that it's hard to remember the story fondly. Kylin asked for it daily, though, so it's probably better than I give it credit for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 9/29/2012

    " Not sure how this book got on my reading list. I must have latched onto a "best of" reading list that includes youth classics. This is a nice book, though. Written by an ordained Scottish minister at the turn of the 20th century, it is a Christian allegory with frequent nuggets of wisdom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloriavirtutisumbra | 9/26/2012

    " I adore this book, it has a charm all of its own. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay Rogers | 9/3/2012

    " This is a good story, but I doubt that many children today would find it enjoyable to read. The language is difficult to understand. I agree with some of my classmates that kids might enjoy listening to the book read aloud. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allie | 8/28/2012

    " I had a harder time getting into the book than I thought I would... Although once into it I enjoyed it. The dialogue doesn't flow like I am used to and there were paragraphs that were mixed dialogue. Again a fun quick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maddie | 6/4/2012

    " I'm reading the Charming Classics edition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ciera | 5/23/2012

    " This is an intresting fairy-tale - not your usual story. But I enjoyed it just the same! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey Weise | 5/17/2012

    " I read it as a child, and loved it immensely. The goblin feet were amusing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 HKd | 4/23/2012

    " I have a great and abiding love for CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll, AA Milne and all those classic children's books but I found this very dry, except for great-great-great grandmother (one of teh stars is for her) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 4/22/2012

    " A beloved novel from my childhood. Highly recommended for all ages! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lana | 4/15/2012

    " this book is based on a fairytale so one would think it is for children but the depth of the book is surely for an adult audience. it was a pleasure to read, so much so that i read it in a couple of hours right through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 3/31/2012

    " This book would be good as a read-aloud. I loved reading a fairy tale about a princess who was the rescuER instead of the rescuEE! I also liked how it was a parable of faith. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 3/7/2012

    " This was a cute book. I'm glad I stumbled upon it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mckinley | 2/18/2012

    " My feeling coming away from this is that is was ok. I kept wondering about the grandmother - was she good or not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Walsman | 2/2/2012

    " This is far and away the best "fairy tale" that I have ever read. MacDonald crafts the story masterfully and with great purpose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clare | 12/25/2011

    " It's a classic, and a good one at that. With funny little rhymes, cute and innocent romance, and marvelous descriptions throughtout the book, The Princess and the Goblin is an unforgettable story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andre Rook | 12/2/2011

    " Absolutely fantastic. One of my favorites by MacDonald. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrienne | 11/5/2011

    " A cute children's story. I didn't love the narrator, he kept adding his two cents, and I thought that was obnoxious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanee | 11/1/2011

    " I love a good fairy tale. I loved this book when I was younger. I don't remember much of it now. I just remember thinking it was beautiful and that someday I would love to be a princess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grace Chen | 10/28/2011

    " The 19th C English is a bit hard to follow at times, but it's a great classical fairy tale on the battle between good and evil. Fantasy and wonder and magic aren't just for children, I say. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Russell | 9/18/2011

    " I adored this classic fairy tale - what fun! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R Benjamin | 9/6/2011

    " Loved this...I can see some of MacDonald's Universal Reconciliation come out, though not explicitly. Since the read I find myself reflecting much on this beautiful story. I love the theme of belief and the patience of the great great grandmother who cannot believe in her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Brookins | 7/24/2011

    " George macdonald is my hero. This is a great story. I read it to my boys and we are ever so thankful for the information about goblins. We are toe stomping goblin fighters and love making rhymes to scare them away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shiree | 7/18/2011

    " I loved this book! It was very creative and descriptive!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Hildebrandt | 7/15/2011

    " The more I read, the more I loved it. Webs of meaning and beautiful story-telling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Mcilhargey | 7/11/2011

    " One of the best children's books out there. My dad read this to me as a child and it still is one of my favorites. Absolutely a classic! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Walsman | 6/6/2011

    " This is far and away the best "fairy tale" that I have ever read. MacDonald crafts the story masterfully and with great purpose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magda | 5/31/2011

    " I tried reading "The Princess and Curdie" when I was in middle school (I think), and it was horrible. I was worried that this book would also be too saccharine, but it was sweet in a thoroughly good way, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pinar | 5/16/2011

    " It was the first time I read a book by George MacDonald who is considered as the "master" for many well-known, great fantasy authors (J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis). It was a pity that I read Turkish translation as it was not entertaining to read the rhymes of Curdie in Turkish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 5/12/2011

    " I shall certainly be reading this book to any future children that I have. A lovely tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryar | 5/10/2011

    " We loved this book. Great read aloud with the kids. : ) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jocelyn | 4/19/2011

    " As a kid, this was the coolest book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tricia | 4/11/2011

    " This is another book I found on a list of fantasy classics that no one reads anymore... and they really should. I was familiar with this book inasmuch as I had seen the 1994 movie, but the book was simply precious. If I ever have a little girl, this is the book I will read to her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 4/10/2011

    " This is a good book. The characters are wonderful, it's beautifully written, and it has such a mysterious, magical setting and plot. I really loved it, and I hope to read more of George MacDonald's books soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 3/25/2011

    " One of the best children's books out there. My dad read this to me as a child and it still is one of my favorites. Absolutely a classic! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 3/17/2011

    " I liked this, but didn't love it. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it just felt a little flat.

    I most likely won't be reading this to the boys. I think there are many other more interesting fairy tales out there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 3/11/2011

    " The more I read, the more I loved it. Webs of meaning and beautiful story-telling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/3/2011

    " Reading this one aloud to the kids (after reading it for the first time myself last year) - love MacDonald, love Curdie. The kids are enthralled.

    We just finished it, and even Sage wanted immediately to begin the sequel (Princess and Curdie). I love wonderful children's literature! "

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About the Author
Author George MacDonald

George MacDonald (1824–1905), Scottish children’s author and novelist, was educated at Aberdeen University before training as a Congregational minister. Finding his own individualistic views unacceptable to his parish, he gradually turned to literature. He published over fifty volumes of fiction, verse, children’s stories, and sermons but is remembered chiefly for his fairy stories, including The Princess and the Goblin (1872) and its sequel The Princess and Curdie (1873).

About the Narrator

Ian Whitcomb is a published narrator of children’s books. Some of the published credits of Ian Whitcomb include The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie.