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PAN'S LABYRINTH by Guillermo del Toro Kirkus Star

PAN'S LABYRINTH

The Labyrinth of the Faun

by Guillermo del Toro & Cornelia Funke ; illustrated by Allen Williams

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-241446-5
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

A young girl is swept into the dangerous world of fairies and magic in war-torn Spain in a collaborative tale inspired by the noted film.

With the death of her father, her mother’s marriage to a stoic military captain, and the imminent arrival of a baby brother, 13-year-old Ofelia’s world has been turned upside down. But once upturned, Ofelia discovers a world beneath her own that seems straight out of her favorite fairy tales—an Underground Kingdom with magic, fairies, and a faun whose princess has been missing for centuries. The faun explains that Ofelia is their princess reincarnated, but to return to her throne, she must complete three tasks before the next full moon. But as her mother’s health rapidly declines and the captain’s cruelty spreads like a deadly fume, a giant toad and grotesque child eater aren’t the only monsters Ofelia must face. Charged with the monumental task of adapting an intricate film to the page, del Toro (The Shape of Water, 2018, etc.) and Funke (The Griffin’s Feather, 2018, etc.) have avoided merely describing the film and instead have elegantly recrafted the narrative. Brief, interspersed tales that stitch together several characters’ backstories deepen and add greater complexity to the plot while also shrinking the original story’s ambiguous gap between fantasy and reality. Spot art based on the film’s concept art accompanies each of the tales, helping to both offset and connect them.

Dark and mesmerizing. (Dark fantasy. 12-18)