This is a masterpiece. The Dark Crystal and I go way back. It's just one of those childhood memories I can never forget. I loved the movie growing up, and I finally got around to buying the book, which is, in my opinion, better than the movie. But I still LOVE the movie.
For those of you not familiar with The Dark Crystal, here's a synopsis:
The young Gelfling, Jen, all his life, has lived in the peaceful valley of the urRu with the sole knowledge and belief he is the last Gelfling alive. But with the passing of his master, Jen is pointed in the direction of Aughra's dome, where he must locate a shard of the enigmatic Dark Crystal and find a way to restore it and overthrow the tyranny of the evil, bird-like Skeksis, who've been leaching precious energy from the world of Thra for a thousand years. But with the Great Conjuction imminent, Jen not only faces certain doom, but time is against him as well. Will he find a way to restore what was broken? Or will he fail in this endeavor and allow the Skeksis to rule forever?
You should know, after reading this, I'm going to watch the movie now and put all the peices together. There's just so much in this book that wasn't conveyed on-screen, and most of it for good reason, as the movie is a kid's movie. The book, eh, not so much. And this is where I'm about to get heavy in my review.
First off, a warning. The book is graphic. As in, not gory, per say, but cannibalism is heavily implied. I've even collected a few quotes from the novel as examples. Like, it took me completely by surprise just how graphic this novel is compared with the movie. If you've watched the film, but haven't read the book...you have NO idea just how EVIL the skeksis really are. In the book, you're in a few of their heads, and honestly, I wanted out! They're sadistic, malicious, envious, carnivores. And I found reading about them A LOT scarier than they appeared in the movie. I mean, some of the stuff I read made me cringe or gave me chills. Here, let me just pull a few quotes from the novel and let you be the judge:
This was a scene where we're told what some of the Skesis are thinking about doing to Kira.
The Ornamentalist was devising uses for Kira's severed head. The Gourmand was savoring thoughts on the rest of her body.
My first thoughts: Eww! If that doesn't tell you how evil and sick they are, then maybe this next one might convince you.
The flask smashed into a cabinet, on the shelves of which were laid out the maimed and dismembered bodies of all kinds of creatures. Some of them were still, morbidly, alive.
Yeah, I think you get the point. But while graphic, I love these two quotes the best, because they actually SHOW us, instead of TELL us they're evil. But I'm never going to look at this movie the same after reading these. *Shivers*
Okay, now for some uplifting quotes I just absolutely loved, that are equally profound and knowledgeable.
UrZah answered in the fashion of the urRu, very slowly, with long pauses. "To mean is not to do," he said. "To make a sound--"he reflected for a long time--"is to trouble the roots of silence. To play the flute is...to make a slave of air."
I never thought about it like that, but he's got a point. And lastly, my favorite of them all.
"Wisdom is not for knowing but for understanding."
I'm can't stress enough how glad I am to finally have read this. I learned a lot of things that the movie couldn't convey, and I came away knowing more about the world and the characters. I highly recommend this. It's High Fantasy, intense, and at times even scary, and it'll have you rooting for the main characters all the way to the last page. And if you're like me and saw the movie before reading, you're probably not going to look at the movie the same as before.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. It was AMAZING! I hope you enjoyed this review and give this book a try! Now, please excuse me while I go make some popcorn and watch:
THE DARK CRYSTAL