After I was underwhelmed with the Maleficent movie, I saw that there was a novelization made of the film. It’s called The Curse of Maleficent: a tale of a Sleeping Beauty, and is written by Elizabeth Rudnick. While this is a book that was written in conjunction with the film (i.e., it’s not a book that came first that they then made a movie out of), I was hopeful that the story told in a different way might make me like and understand it more. Though the book is for children, I have no problem with that – I’m a children’s librarian, after all!
Ultimately, this is an okay book adaptation of an okay movie. It follows the plot of the movie pretty much exactly, so you won’t get much more out of the book if you saw the movie, which is what I was hoping for. The flaws I have with the movie are obviously the same as the book so I won’t get into that here – you can check out my review of the movie if you’re interested.
It was an easy read and if you really enjoyed the movie you make like to read it just to get a little different perspective. The book was divided into sections and each one was from the point of view of a different character – Maleficent’s friend growing up (Knotgrass), one of the fairies, Aurora, etc. It’s a bit odd that we never get Maleficent’s point of view though. I thought that made the book a bit lacking. The whole story is supposed to be about Maleficent, but we never truly see her side of things. Apparently there is another book based on the movie written by the same author, just called Maleficent, which is apparently also a bit different.
The real highlight of the book for me was actually the illustrations. There were some full two-page, gorgeous illustrations every so often in the book and I really loved the style in which they were done. They were done by Nicholas Kole, who deserves big kudos. Though a lot of the work was done digitally, he was going for a watercolor inspired look that I think is great for a fantasy book like this one.
Do you have any interest in reading this book?