When the Light Princess was born, her wicked aunt placed a curse on her. Now she is (in terms of mass) incredibly light. Perhaps you can see the gravity of the situation—without proper weighting down she could float away at any moment. She is also unable to shed tears (being much too lighthearted.) The King and Queen are understandably distressed, and the Light Princess's life becomes a series of mishaps until she discovers a fondness for swimming in her own lake, which she loves more than anything else, and a young prince, who discovers he loves her more than life itself.
The Light Princess is not your average fairy tale. As curses go, the Light Princess's is unique, and doesn't seem like an effective curse at all. But losing your gravity is much more troublesome than you would initially imagine, and George MacDonald spins it out in amusing ways. However, he also reveals that the true curse of the Light Princess is, in fact, her lightheartedness. Sure, it makes her a happy person, but it also makes her an unruly one, one who lacks compassion for other people.
To be lighthearted is a good thing, but it's a good thing when tempered with a measure of seriousness, of gravity. So it's only when the Light Princess comes face to face with a matter of extreme gravity—the prince's very deep, very serious, sacrificial love—that the curse is finally broken.
George MacDonald's classic fairy tale is woven through with tongue-in-cheek humor, clever wordplay, and all sorts of gravity-related puns; but it contains a message about love and the nature of happiness that makes it an ultimately satisfying story.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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