FICTION

Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun

DEL TORO, Guillermo & . 272p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Jul. 2019. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062414465. POP
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RedReviewStarGr 6–9–Master storyteller Funke and critically acclaimed director del Toro have woven a tale of greed, bravery, and sacrifice inspired by the Oscar-winning film. In 1944, 13-year-old Ofelia and her pregnant mother, Carmen, have come to live with her mother's new husband in a forest north of Spain. Ofelia is afraid of her new stepfather, whom she has nicknamed "The Wolf." She worries that he will hurt her mother. When they have almost reached her new home, she encounters a small twiglike creature that she knows immediately is actually a fairy. Ofelia is correct, as the strange fairy returns later on. She follows it through the forest, where she meets a half-man, half-goat creature, the Faun. He tells her that she is the reincarnation of an Underworld princess but her memories were erased by the sun. Ofelia's true father, the king of the Underworld, has left portals open all over the word so she can return to him. It has been so long since she left, there is only one portal still open. Ofelia must pass a series of tests before she is allowed to return to the Underworld. Readers will easily relate to Ofelia's fears and applaud her bravery. Imaginative vignettes and black-and-white illustrations add depth to the narrative. Hand to fans of the movie, but also expect to engender new devotees with such captivating lore.
VERDICT Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia" series and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this creatively cryptic tale will enchant readers who delight in fantasy.

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