The Light Princess by George MacDonald

Information

Goodreads: The Light Princess
Series: None
Source: Purchased
Published: 1919

Summary

Cursed at birth to have no gravity, the princess is light both physically and spiritually.  She laughs at sorrow, chortles at anger, and remains unmoved by death.  Can one such as she ever fall in love?

Star Divider

Review

“One day [the prince] lost sight of his retinue in a great forest. These forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their fortunes. In this they have the advantage of the princesses, who are forced to marry before they have had a bit of fun. I wish our princesses got lost in a forest sometimes.”

The Light Princess is a short and deceptively simple tale.  It tells the story of a princess cursed at birth by an evil aunt.  Without gravity, she must take care not to get caught by the wind and float away.  However, even more alarming, she cannot cry.  Anger, sorrow, and suffering fail to move her.  Indeed, she laughs at others’ pain!  The wise men of the city believe she must learn to cry if she is to be healed.  But even great sacrifice seems to leave her untouched.

Though the summary may appear to make this a boringly moral tale, The Light Princess is actually quite witty.  It delights in puns and in the absurdities of a princess who might float away at any moment.  It pokes gentle fun at the love-struck prince, who, as many love struck individuals do, sometimes acts a little silly.  It is, in short, a wonderful read, one that avid lovers of fairy tales will not want to miss out on.

But I would argue that the premise of the story adds depth.  Fairy tales are not usually romances told only for entertainment.  Instead, they often contain a kernel of truth.  As is usual in fairy tales, this one condemns selfishness, pettiness, and jealousy.  And it rewards perseverance and self-sacrifice.  The beauty of the story seems enough to move any reader.

Whether you delight in fantasy or fairy tales, love a story about princesses, or are a fan of George MacDonald’s work (or of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, whom he inspired), The Light Princess is just the book for you.

4 stars

13 thoughts on “The Light Princess by George MacDonald

  1. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    George MacDonald has long been on my radar (largely because of the Tolkien connection) but I’ve yet to read anything by him. I’m pretty much just aware of The Princess and the Goblin. Thanks for shedding light on another one of his works!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I admit I don’t really see why C. S. Lewis sees Macdonald as life-changing. XD I’ve liked some of his stories such At the Back of the North Wind and other stories I have been more ambivalent about (*cough*Phantastes*cough*). Maybe C. S. Lewis just set me up after his glowing accounts. 😉

      Like

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