‘Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun’ by Cornelia Funke and Guillermo del Toro – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Fans of dark fairy-tales like The Hazel Wood and The Cruel Princewill relish this atmospheric and absorbing book based on Guillermo del Toro’s critically acclaimed movie.

Oscar winning writer-director Guillermo del Toro and New York Times bestselling author Cornelia Funke have come together to transform del Toro’s hit movie Pan’s Labyrinth into an epic and dark fantasy novel for readers of all ages, complete with haunting illustrations and enchanting short stories that flesh out the folklore of this fascinating world.

This spellbinding tale takes readers to a sinister, magical, and war-torn world filled with richly drawn characters like trickster fauns, murderous soldiers, child-eating monsters, courageous rebels, and a long-lost princess hoping to be reunited with her family.

A brilliant collaboration between masterful storytellers that’s not to be missed.

“Perfectly unsettling and deeply felt, this reminded me of the best kind of fairytales wherein each chapter is a jewel that, when held up to the light, reframes how we see the world around us.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and Aru Shah and the End of Time

“A fearless and moving adaption of the film, and a gorgeously written, emotional, frightening parable about the courage of young women amid the brutality of war.” —Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone

My Review

I have never wanted to see the film because I think it’s the type of film that would unsettle me too much with its dark imagery, and yet as soon as I heard it was to be adapted and expanded upon for a novel I knew I wanted to read it! It’s strange how I will read books that have darker themes but won’t watch films… I think it’s because when I read I don’t necessarily clearly visualise the events of the book in my mind’s eye but instead I experience these events in a much more abstract manner.


The book…

I did really like it! It was very much an ode to Grimm style fairytales and the darker side of some of my favourite films from the 80s (Labyrinth, Return to Oz, Neverending Story).

At times it felt almost middle grade but then at times it was 100% adult and I liked that juxtaposition of the two. It really calls to mind those same feelings I had as a child when I listened to ghost stories or got creeped out by monsters etc etc.

Seeing as it was fairytale-esque the characters were all a bit on the stereotypical side but I don’t think I would have liked them to be otherwise.

I particularly liked how the book split itself between the folklore-style stories of how the underworld influenced ancient times, and the historical fiction narrative of civil war ravaged Spain.

The book was also beautifully illustrated throughout which added to its charm.

I definitely enjoyed this but my rating is somewhere around the 3.5 mark as I have preferred other fairytale-style adult books a lot more (John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things, Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood)

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8 thoughts on “‘Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun’ by Cornelia Funke and Guillermo del Toro – Book Review

  1. Seeing this cover and reading your (great!) review has made me want to watch this movie again. It’s definitely dark and I remember being thoroughly creeped out when I watched it (ages back) but I’m feeling nostalgic now! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I think I’ve mentioned before how much of a scaredy I am too! I do remember it terrifying me (a bit lol)… but I didn’t know the story then. So I wonder if since you read the story, it’ll make it seem less scary?

        Liked by 1 person

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