*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the authors, NetGalley and Bloomsbury. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: This enthralling novel, inspired by the 2006 film, illustrates that fantasy is the sharpest tool to explore the terrors and miracles of the human heart
‘You shouldn’t come in here. You could get lost. It has happened before. I’ll tell you the story one day, if you want to hear it.’
In fairy tales, there are men and there are wolves, there are beasts and dead parents, there are girls and forests.
Ofelia knows all this, like any young woman with a head full of stories. And she sees right away what the Capitán is, in his immaculate uniform, boots and gloves, smiling: a wolf.
But nothing can prepare her for the fevered reality of the Capitán’s eerie house, in the midst of a dense forest which conceals many things: half-remembered stories of lost babies; renegade resistance fighters hiding from the army; a labyrinth; beasts and fairies.
There is no one to keep Ofelia safe as the labyrinth beckons her into her own story, where the monstrous and the human are inextricable, where myths pulse with living blood …
I couldn’t resist this one when I spotted it on NetGalley, as Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the best films I have ever seen: a dark fairy-tale horror of a story, where the scariest monsters reside in human hearts.
This book did not disappoint!
Staying faithful to the plot of the film, Cornelia Funke fleshes out the mythology of the story and brings out more detail in the characters’ thoughts and feelings.
My only reservation was that I wholeheartedly wish I had read this story before I saw the film, as I found the film unrolled in my head as I read, which made me wonder what I would have seen if the images had been left to my imagination and the words on the page instead.
So my recommendation is that if you haven’t seen the film yet (and you should!) then read the book first. The book will entrance you with its deliciously dark storytelling and the weaving of historical horror with fantasy; then the film will bring the book to life exactly as you imagined it.
If you’ve already seen and enjoyed the film, read the book too! While the film brings the book to life, the book adds depth and detail to the film that will leave you lost in the Labyrinth long after you’ve put the pages down.
Evil seldom takes shape immediately. It is often little more than a whisper at first. A glance. A betrayal. But then it grows and takes root, still invisible, unnoticed. Only fairy tales give evil a proper shape. The big bad wolves, the evil kings, the demons, and devils…
– Guillermo del Torro & Cornelia Funke, Pan’s Labyrinth
Pan’s Labyrinth is available on Amazon right now!