Sunday, July 3, 2016

Review: The Golden Key: A Victorian Fairy Tale by George MacDonald

Synopsis: When young Mossy hears a legend that anyone who manages to find the end of a rainbow will be rewarded with a golden key, he beceomes determined to do just that. But finding the golden key is the easy part - discovering what it unlocks is much harder. He and a runaway girl named Tangle set out to find the key's purpose - and discover their own along the way. This beloved fairy tale is brought to life with the exquisite new illustrations from Ruth Sanderson. (from the back of the book)

Review: I asked to review this because I enjoy fairy tales, or thought I did. Turned out, I'm not a fan of Victorian Fairy Tales. Other reviewers commented on the depth, complexity, and meaning of the story - but I didn't see it. Half the time, it made no sense to me. Perhaps because I am an adult? Children find meaning and magic in places that we old folk cannot. We have forgotten how.
The story is not linear, but follows the very fairy tale method of time being relative, repetition in characters, how good and evil were clearly marked. The main characters were too insipid for my taste, but I found the flying fish that became fairies when you ate them, and how the old the Great Gods became, the younger they looked, to be clever and enjoyable.
The redeeming quality of this book is Sanderson's illustrations. They are magnificent. Detailed, magical, expressive - everything you'd want from the pictures in a fairy story. It's worth buying the book for the pictures alone!

Note: I received this book free through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10 for the story / 8 of 10 for the illustrations

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5456-8
Year Published: September 2016
Date Finished: 6/27/2016
Pages: 136

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