Synopsis: Princess Irene lives in a castle in a wild and lonely mountainous region. One day she discovers a steep and winding stairway leading to a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doors – and a further stairway. What lies at the top? Can the ring the princess is given protect her against the lurking menace of the boglins from under the mountain?
Goblins hit each other’s feet, as it is the most vulnerable of their bodies. Curdie finds himself in the middle of a hoard of goblins and swings his pickaxe in defence- he uses the blunt end, so as to not kill them. Goblins talk of feeding Curdie to their pets. Curdie is accidentally shot by a bolt from a crossbow. A battle ensues when the goblins invade; Curdie then fights with a sword.
Irene promises to kiss Curdie and fulfils the promise at the end. Mention of the Goblin king loving a human, and his plan to wed his son and Irene.
An allegorical story with strong hints to Christianity, but no explicit belief system in the fantasy world.
Overall feel: A satisfying and thought-provoking story of a miner boy who saves the princess. It integrates many values throughout the story and teaches of belief and disbelief. Trust, and doubt; after all “Seeing is not believing- it is only seeing.”