Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun

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THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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 ...

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Jun 3, 2019

The perfect dark fairy tale

I watched the film of Pan's Labyrinth just over 10 years ago now and remember really enjoying it so was excited to receive the ARC for the book. I think, judging from other reviews I have read that watching the film a long time ago was actually a really nice way to enjoy the book. A few reviews have lamented the fact that this is just a straight retelling of the film, but for me I couldn't really remember how the story ended or what happened in particular detail which meant I still enjoyed it and got to experience it freshly again. Having seen the film however, meant that I still had some of the great creepy imagery in my head (particularly of The Pale Man and the Faun) which would pop up in my mind and add depth to the story on occasion.

Pan's Labyrinth is probably best described as a dark, adult fairy tale with teeth. I loved the juxtaposition and changing perspectives between the gritty reality of Ofelia and her mother Carmen moving in with her new partner Vidal, Mercedes and her rebellious brother Pedro, Ofelia's quest from the mysterious Faun and mythological fairy stories which were woven throughout. I really liked how the fairy stories were standalone and contained stories in their own right but also referenced and intertwined with the wider plot in small and clever ways. I thought the book on the whole was very well written and kept me hooked throughout with atmospheric passages and scary descriptions - I read it in two sittings and could not put it down.

I think my only criticism was that on my kindle advanced readers copy only the first two beautiful illustrations were visible - the rest just appeared as blank boxes. I hope this is fixed for the actual version as the ones I did get to see were lovely.

Overall Pan's Labyrinth is the perfect dark fairy-tale - if you've never seen the film (or like me, it was a very long time ago) you will certainly enjoy it. Thank you to NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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