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The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales

The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales

by George MacDonald

Edited by Haley Stewart

Illustrated by Anastasia Nesterova

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Enter what G.K. Chesterton called “the glorious fairyland of George MacDonald”! This delightful collection of classic stories will introduce the reader to the “forgotten father of fantasy fiction.” According to C.S. Lewis, there is “hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continuously close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself,” and MacDonald deeply influenced the Christian fantasy writers who followed him, including J.R.R. Tolkien and Madeleine L’Engle.   

This beautiful collection includes MacDonald’s stories “The Golden Key,” “The Light Princess,” and “Little Daylight,” as well as stunning full-color illustrations by Anastasia Nesterova and an introduction for the young reader by children’s book author and Editor of Word on Fire Spark Haley Stewart. It is sure to spark the imagination of any reader.

More Info

Publisher: Word on Fire Votive
ISBN: 978-1-68578-047-0
Binding: Hardcover
Page count: 200
Dimensions: 5.5 x 7.5
Thickness: 0.84 (in)
Language: English
Release date: Nov 16, 2023
Age Range: 8+
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About the Author

George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish writer and Christian minister. He wrote over fifty books, including Phantastes, Lilith, and The Princess and the Goblin. He and his wife, Louisa Powell, were the parents of eleven children. He is considered the “grandfather” of the Oxford Inklings and had enormous influence on the fantasy genre.

About the Illustrator

Anastasia Nesterova has illustrated many books for children, but her favorites are classics and stories about magic, nature, and friendship. When she was a little girl, she told her mother that she would work in a bookshop. That dream never came true, but being a children’s book illustrator is wonderful, too. Anastasia didn’t discover the works of George MacDonald until she was a grown-up, but they fascinated her from the very first page. She is grateful to Word on Fire Spark for the opportunity to share how she imagines MacDonald’s fairy-tale world with young readers.

About the Editor

Haley Stewart is the Editor of Word on Fire Votive and the award-winning author of The Sister Seraphina Mysteries, a series for young readers. Haley and her husband have four children and live in Florida.

What People are Saying

"Once in a great while a writer comes along who is so original and so wise that every writer after can't escape his influence. George MacDonald's pioneering work opened paths we didn’t know were there. At last, we have a beautifully bound and thoughtfully arranged edition of these boldly original stories."

Tyler Blanski, author of An Immovable Feast: How I Gave Up Spirituality for a Life of Religious Abundance

“Readers of this beautiful book will encounter the strangeness and wonder of George MacDonald’s imaginary worlds—places where fish and princesses fly. They are also places where quests can’t be achieved without virtues like courage, love, and sacrifice. Anastasia Nesterova’s illustrations combine the childlike and enchanting in much the same way as MacDonald’s stories.”

Marianne Wright, editor of Plough’s The Gospel in George MacDonald

“Bring the best books into your home and read them to your children and grandchildren. George MacDonald’s The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales is one of these books. MacDonald not only influenced C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, but his stories will also impact and shape the moral imagination of a new generation in need of the good, beautiful, and true. Thank you, Word on Fire, for bringing this exceptionally beautiful version of a children’s classic into print for all of us.”

Marcie Stokman, Founder of Well-Read Mom

“To enter into the fantasy worlds of George MacDonald is a lasting experience, not to be forgotten but pondered, rather, over a lifetime. This elegantly illustrated volume contains three of MacDonald’s most imaginative fairy tales. The young protagonists in these stories will remain a lesson taught and inspiration to virtuous living. "The Golden Key,” “The Light Princess.” and “Little Daylight” are by all estimates three of MacDonald’s best fairy tales. They have the power to enrich a child’s moral imagination like few fairy tales can.”

Vigen Guroian, author of Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination

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