“Princess Irene’s great-grandmother has a testing task for Curdie. He will not go alone though, as she provides him with a companion — the oddest and ugliest creature Curdie has ever seen, but one who turns out to be the most loyal friend he could have hoped for.” (from Goodreads)
The first chapter of this book was very slow and boring, but it picked up soon after and swung into a clever adventure. I loved seeing Curdie grow up, and it was delightful when Irene and her king-papa came into the story again. (And that spunky housemaid was a treat!) Also, Curdie and Lina’s unexpected friendship really hit home for me. Unfortunately, evolutionary ideas, some very odd creatures, and the quirky worldview being more explicit made this second book less enjoyable for me.
Best quote: “The boy should enclose and keep as his life, the old child at the heart of him, and never let it go. He must still, to be a right man, be his mother’s darling, and more, his father’s pride, and more. The child is not meant to die, but to be forever freshborn.”
Altogether, I found this to be an entertaining follow-up for older readers who loved Curdie in The Princess and the Goblin.
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