In that mysterious land the hero is a bumbling failure: "Alas, how easily things go wrong! A sigh too much, or a kiss too long, And there follows a mist and a weeping rain, And life is never the same again." But MacDonald was a Universalist, and wrote of hope beyond any disaster.
I liked Lilith better when I first read the books; it seemed to have a stronger narrative, and I liked the characters better. But youth doesn't always understand Fairyland, and I think it is time to read Phantastes again.
Sometimes you re-read a book because you need a little familiar amusement. Sometimes you re-read it because you need to hear the voice again; because you need to be reminded of something important. Last month I went back to A Canticle for Leibowitz.