Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke (Bloomsbury, 2019)
Okay, a disclaimer. I’m not going to be very objective on this one because I absolutely adore the film from which this book is taken.
Quite often films are made from books but this time it’s the other way around; it’s the book that came after the film.
Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fantasy set in Spain against the backdrop of Franco’s fascist regime.
After the death of her father, Ofelia moves – with her pregnant mother – to live in a mill in the woods where her new “father” Vidal, a captain in Franco’s army, is stationed. Vidal is cruel and cold and so is the world in which Ofelia inhabits.
However, the woods hold a fascination for Ofelia and it’s not long before a faun introduces himself to her and tells her she is the missing princess from the Underworld. In order to return to her Underworld father, the faun gives her a book detailing a series of increasingly dark tasks that she must complete before she can take her rightful place as the princess.
The film is gorgeously dark and foreboding with a blend of horror in both the real and fantasy worlds. It’s a beautifully shot fairy tale for adults.
The book is, in my opinion, equally as fabulous.
If you love the film, chances are, you will love the book.
It has everything the film has; dark storytelling, evil monsters, suspense, and is utterly spellbinding! Not only that, it has gorgeous illustrations and a few extra parts that delve a little deeper into the background of the story.
I would definitely recommend this book.
5 out of 5 stars.
Great for those who love the film and want to delve deeper into the story. Also great for those who want to take their time over such a sumptuous story and love fairy tales.
Not so great for…
This is a hard one…
Those who don’t like fairy tales?