THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN Reproduced by permission of the publisher, The Folio Society, London. 

“The Princess and the Goblin,” by George MacDonald, introduced by Maria Tatar, illustrated by Madalina Andronic; The Folio Society, $44.95, 192 pages, all ages.

This stunning edition of George MacDonald’s eerie tale of Princess Irene and her daring battles with subterranean-dwelling goblins will delight the fantasy fans on your holiday list.  In fact, this offering from The Folio Society would probably be adored by anyone who enjoys receiving beautiful books. Originally published in 1871, readers unacquainted with The Princess and the Goblin will likely recognize similarities with Alice and Wonderland, another Victorian-era fantasy tale.  Here, a young, bored girl discovers a hidden stairway that leads her to an enchanted world filled with magical, otherworldly beings where she must do battle in order to save kingdom from the goblins. A favorite of J.R.R Tolkien, MacDonald’s tale of adventure and bravery will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Harvard University’s Professor of Germanic Languages Maria Tatar wrote the introduction, and readers will benefit from her instructive explication of MacDonald’s creative ideology.  Romanian artist Madalina Andronic’s bright and detailed watercolor and inks perfectly match this timeless flight of the imagination.