Friday, January 13, 2006

The Light Princess - George MacDonald (January/06)

I had to read this short novel for one of my classes at school, it only took like an hour. That's the good thing about teen fiction, it can be short. The thing I particularly like about this novel is that while it was short and meant for a young audience, it had many aspects to it that were appealing to the older readers as when you are older and spent most of your life having to analyse books for school, you notice things that a young reader would not. The book reads like a fairy tale, and actually takes in aspects of the fairy tale genre like "Sleeping Beauty", which is one of the main ones. My professor, though, considers it a fantasy novel as well. Really, who can say that some fantasy novels are not closely related to fairy tales, anyways. They have the unreal aspect to them, at least by today's standards.

It is very hard to talk about this book without ruining it, as when you see the word "light" it can have many connontations to it, and it is part of the delight of the book to figure out what "light" means in this case, so I will not ruin it for anyone. Never know when the book will come their way and then they will know what happens and it will not be the same experience if you know what is going to happen. I will just summarize very briefly. As in fairy tales, there is a king and a queen. Like in "Sleeping Beauty" they are without a child and greatly desire one. When the child, a girl, is finally born there is much rejoicing. Also, like in "Sleeping Beauty", there is an evil and scorned woman that recks havoc on the royal family. The sister to the King, who everytime you think is gone from the story, she is back to create even more despair for the family. One of ploys of destruction brings a prince into the story, can't have a fairy tale with a young maiden without the hero, now can we. He rides in to save the day, but not in the ways that we have come to expect from other fairy tales. It is not as simple as kissing the girl and all his problems are solved, there actually is a near-death experience that he has to get through or not get through, I will not reveal if this story has a happy ending or not.

An enjoyable read.


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