Maleficent (Elizabeth Rudnick, 2014)

Read as part of the Fairy Tale Retelling Challenge.

A deluxe novelization of the Walt Disney Studios film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. This visually dazzling live action film explores the origins of one of the most iconic Disney villains: Maleficent, the infamous fairy who curses Princess Aurora in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty. This ‘origin’ story is told from Maleficent’s perspective, intersecting with the classic in both familiar and unexpected ways.

(Text from goodreads)

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I had a small expectation for something new in this story, because I’ve seen the film and hoped it would not be a complete copy of the film, only in text. However, in my opinion there was not much new in this version. I’d say the only new thing in this book is the fact that we get a small look into the mind of Stefan as well as Maleficent.

The story is the same as the film; we think we know the story of the evil villain Maleficent, but there appears to be much more to the story. Admittedly, the backstory that has been created for this version of the fairy tale is rather good. I always love the spin on the villains and how we think we know the whole story, but really there is much more to it.

”Not for the first time, she wondered what things would have been like had her parents lived. She could just picture the scene – running home to the Rowan Tree and finding her mother sitting there, her back against the warm trunk. Maleficent would cry and tell her everything, and than her mother would kiss her forehead and tell her it would be all right. And it would be. Somehow.”

One thing that was new in the book that was not in the film was the small introductory story of Maleficent’s parents. I really enjoyed the intertextuality in the names of her parents, Hermia and Lysander. Haven just recently worked with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream I found it quite funny and interesting to see how these had actually been turned into fairies in this story.

”She had been so focused on the love that broke her heart that she had never stopped to think there was an even deeper, truer love: that of a mother and daughter. That was what Aurora had become to her – a daughter.”

So overall I enjoyed this book but after seeing the film it was rather a disappointment. Perhaps if I had read the book before seen the film it would have been different. This is one of those very rare times where I admit that the film is actually better than the book; this is mostly because they are too much alike. In adaptation I like there to be things in the books that are not in the films, but sadly that is not the case with this one.

3 star

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