Last year, I read The Light Princess by this same author. His books are rather interesting fairy tales, and I felt that I should read another one by him. So, I read the one that I had heard of, The Princess and the Goblin.
From the back of the book:
The Ageless story of mystery and magic, good and evil.
Princess Irene's discovery of a secret stair to the top turret of the castle leads to a wonderful revelation. At the same time, the miner's son Curdie overhears a fiendish plot by the goblins who love below the mountain. But it will take all their wit and courage, and the help of Irene's magic ring, to make sense of their separate knowledge and foil the goblins' schemes.
This is the story of Princess Irene and Curdie. The castle is located around a goblin underground home, and because of that, Irene is not allowed out after dark. One night, though, her and her nurse lose track of time and find that they are not going to make it back to the castle in time. That is where Curdie enters the story. He knows the tricks to make the goblins leave him alone, and helps the princess and her nurse back to the castle. Then, Irene thinks that she will have little reason to see him again.
In the meantime, she discovers that her many great grandmother is living in a turret room in the castle. No one believes that she is truly there, but Irene knows. She has many adventures that her grandmother play a part in. It is her grandmother that gives her the magic ring, that aids her when bad things happen. Curdie is very brave, and gets down in the thick of things by spying on the goblins to learn their plan. Irene, on the other hand, is not your damsel in distress, she gets herself out of situations either on her own or with the help of her grandmother. This is not the Grimm's fairy tales, it is truly a modern look at princesses.
I think that this is a good read. Irene is a cute character and their adventures will keep you turning the pages.