This is a strange, strange little book, and it was even stranger for me when I first read it without having read "The Princess and the Goblin". The religious allegories in the book now remind me of C.S. Lewis' "Perelandra" trillogy, and a lot of the rest is VERY dark for a children's book. There's a scene towards the end where a monster BITES OFF SOMEONE'S FINGER for crying out loud. People get maimed by teeth and roasted alive in a fire of roses. And the last page of the book is either the happiest unhappy ending, or the unhappiest happy ending, depending on how you read it.
That said, I LOVED this book when I was growing up. The friendship between Curdie and the monster Lina is beautiful, and there's something VERY satisfying about a ragtag army of monsters taking on a city full of unpleasant people. And all of the strangeness just makes every chapter really, really interesting. Reply