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Book Review: Complete Fairy Tales of George MacDonald

The Complete Fairy TalesThe Complete Fairy Tales by George MacDonald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I give this book 5 stars really on the strength of three of its stories- The Light Princess, The History of Phtogen and Nycteris, and my favorite of all, The Wise Woman or the Lost Princess. Not that the other stories are bad, but to me these three rise above the rest. The Light Princess has a great deal of Christian imagery and symbolism, but it is superficially like most fairy tales, especially Sleeping Beauty. The end is really quite moving. Photogen and Nycteris feels a bit more like classical mythology. Its story and imagery are very much fantastical and even a bit eerie. But its has a great deal of depth. However, even amongst these three, my far and away favorite story was The Wise Woman or the Lost Princess. This in fact is probably my favorite piece of fiction that I have ever read. The story contains so much prfound wisdom and spiritual insight that it is truly amazing. The story for me was odly convicting and I felt as if MacDonald was giving us a window into the soul that few writers are able to do. That he did this through a fairy tale was even more incredible, but after reading this book, I will not underestimate the genre again. In fact, from this and other works I’ve read lately, I wonder if the fairy story and its variations are not perhaps the quintessential or ultimate achievement in literature. I absolutely loved this story and will be reading it again and again through the years.

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