By Its Cover: The Princess Bride

Princess BrideIt’s the team up of the century! Finally, after years of waiting, fans get the crossover novel they’ve been longing for. William Goldman combines his two most loved series – Zorro and Pirates of The Caribbean – pairing the aforementioned Zorro with POTC’s most loved heroin, Elizabeth Swan.

After years and years of relentless nagging and dozens of websites filled with fan fiction, William Goldman has finally folded and given his fans a novel that looks at what it would be like if those two characters met. Years of speculation and arguments have been put to rest by William Goldman’s latest novel, The Princess Bride, which documents their meeting quite well.

And what do you do when two beloved protagonists such as these are paired together? Why you have them fight an army of ghosts of course! True to William Goldman’s past works, his villains are as deep and varied as his heroes. The army of ghosts aren’t simply floating blobs or white sheets. Much like people, they come in all sorts. There are big ones with mustaches, small ones with swords, ghosts on horses, ghost boats. His fleshing out (irony intended) of all the phantoms really helps bring this story to life, and gives it that extra punch that Goldman so often provides his readers. Honestly, he could very well have just phoned this one in. After all, the fans only asked for an Elizabeth Swan/Zorro team up. But rather than giving his readers a rehashing of The Avengers, he instead gave them Civil War. I’m not exaggerating when I say he went all out on this story, so far as to provide the ghosts with afterlife currency, a socioeconomic structure, class, sex, and race tension. And that’s just the bad guys. The protagonists, as has been seen in his past series for both characters, have got depth beyond even the bourgeois poltergeists.

I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is the same, “Is there romance?” And, if you’ll pardon the spoilers, I can tell you that there is so much romance it could be turned into a movie staring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The sexual tension is through the roof (er… cover). Every other line is just dripping with implication and infatuation. I mean, kiss already!

Alas! The love in this story is only between the lines, as no smooching ever comes to fruition. Instead, readers are left to watch as Zorro and Elizabeth swap innuendos and slay ghosts all without a single physical representation of what must be an undying (ghost pun) love for one another. Frustrating, certainly. Yet, this could also be a blessing, as Goldman has left room for fan fiction to explore what might have been had Zorro only made a move.

Goldman has yet to confirm or deny the possibility of a sequel, leaving hope for his fans. Will this dynamic duo return in years to come, or will this be a one hit wonder? Only time will tell.

The Princess Bride is a great book. Pick it up, read it, love it. For a near perfect crossover story, The Princess Bride receives a 7 out of 10.

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