Favourite Fantasy books – in a nutshell #wyrdandwonder

W&W

IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival

Today I’m posting using a theme I’ve seen around the blogosphere as part of the Wyrd and Wonder event.  Check out this and this post who have already tackled this topic in wonderful fashion.  Basically, describe five of your favourite fantasy books in five words.  Actually, this was tougher than I expected but here goes:

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

– Aztec vampires feuding in Mexico

Certain Dark Things HC Mech.indd

 

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence

– Kickass assassin nuns in training

Redsister

 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

– Pirates? Princesses? True love? Inconceivable

PB

 

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

– Dysfunctional psychic family meets gangsters

Spoonbenders

 

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

– Pride, Prejudice, Dragons… oh my!

Heartstone

 

 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride is one of those books that I kept seeing reviews for (whilst looking out for other books) which simply state ‘you must read this book, it’s a classic’ and yet for some reason I kept putting the experience off – I think primarily because it’s one of those bug bears of mine about having to read the book before I see the film so that I use my own imagination and in this case as I’ve already seen the film (a number of times) reading it broke my golden rule.  What the hell, rules are made for breaking after all and so I finally went there.  And, I’m so glad that I did.  All you reviewers who insist this book should be read – you’re just so right.  It was brilliant, and the fact that I’d already seen the film didn’t deter from my enjoyment, in fact it added to it and I found myself picturing some of the scenes and reading the characters with the actor’s voices in my head.  I will admit, I was predisposed to like this book, so maybe I’m biased, but I really did love it.

Where to begin about this book.  It’s really a story within a story I suppose.  It’s a fairy tale that isn’t a fairy tale and it’s an abridged version of a much longer book (that doesn’t actually exist).  The full premise of it is brilliant.  I enjoyed all the little sections where Goldman explains his reasons for the changes or where he reflects back to when his father originally read him the story (which of course he didn’t!)  There is so much going on.  Pirates, princes and princesses, villains, swashbuckling, swordfighting, kidnap, romance, creepy forests, giants, and on and on…..  but, the absolute star of this book, without a doubt, is the humour it contains.  It made me laugh quite unreservedly (and in public on the bus which is a bit embarassing!)

The film veers very little from the original text with much of the story being replicated virtually word for word so if you love the film it’s a sure thing that you’ll love the book as it brings a bit more detail to each of the characters, a missing scene in a Zoo of Death and a bit of an explanation for the Prince’s desire to create war with Guilder – I loved the scene when he found his first potential ‘bride to be’ until the scene with the feast when her hat blows off!

In terms of the characters I’ve practically been having a fight with myself over my favourite.  I still can’t make my mind up!  Fezzik is so funny with his little rhymes.  Inigo with his sword fighting and his show stealing ‘Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!’ scene, but  my favourite character, I think, (or at least right now but I may revisit) is Westley because I love the dialogue attached to this character – so dry!

Don’t be put off thinking that this is a book aimed at young audiences, and, unlike me, don’t be put off if you’ve already seen the film!  The book brings so much more to it.  I think if you’ve seen the film and loved it you will be made up with the book and vice versa.  If you haven’t read or seen either – then run out now and buy them both because you’re in for a treat, particularly if you like a good adventure story, well told with plenty of humour.

I would definitely recommend this book and know for a fact that this is one novel that I will dip back in to.

Rating A

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride