Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro & Cornelia Funke

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Much, much more than a novelization, Cornelia Funke’s illustrated adaptation of Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 award-winning Spanish film is spellbinding.

Set in 1940s war-torn Spain, this dark fairy tale introduces us to a young girl named Ofelia who is working on completing dangerous tasks in the forest to prove to a wily faun that she is the long-lost princess of an underground kingdom.

As a lover of the film, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’ve been a Cornelia Funke fan since The Thief Lord (a magical Venetian adventure) and I was drawn like a magnet to this collaboration.

Slightly over-sized for a novel, with atmospheric ornamentation in the margins and stunning black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout, the book itself feels as magical as the text.
It shocks me to say this, but I think I actually love the book more than the movie! The film gets a little too gory for me at times and reading those scenes makes it easier for me to picture as much or as little of the disturbing imagery as I can handle.

Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, I recommend this book to anyone who relishes excellent storytelling and the bloodier side of fairy tales.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC TORO)

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