Bulla takes you immediately into the fairy-tale world of Prince Hal, a child deemed neither fine-looking nor clever and therefore disdained by his parents. He is also locked up in his tower, provided toys and books, but forbidden to play with the servants' children he can see from his window. One little girl does however make her way to his room and exchange an old book about the monsters who live under the mountain for one of Hal's new books. Though his mother finds the book and throws it into the fire, Hal continues to dream of his ""friends"" the monsters. Later he meets a young monster, Humbert, in the woods near the mountains. Each saves the other from hostile strangers--Hal is in danger under the mountain and Humbert in the world above, where Hal's sadistic adult cousin has locked the monster in a cage. Hal's parents understand nothing of his adventure but, for the wrong reasons, they respect him more for it; and though in the end he can only meet Humbert in The Land Between their two worlds, he dreams of establishing general amity when he grows up to be king. The engaging story is all-of-a-piece, and with it Chessare's dreamlike, gently compelling pictures.