Title: Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun
Authors: Cornelia Funke and Guillermo del Toro
Genre/Themes: Fantasy, Dark Fairytale
Blurb from Goodreads
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.
I have never wanted to see the film Pan’s Labyrinth 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.
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)