Books Like The Princess Bride
There has been plenty of books that combined fantasy, romance, comedy and adventure, but few that managed to pull it off as successfully as The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The novel, which tales the fairy tale like story of a farmhand named Wesley and his love for a girl named Buttercup, was a huge hit even before the cult movie adaptation was made. It is a wildly imaginative tale that packs everything from fencing and torture to revenge and monsters, miracles and above all, true love. Goldman also framed the whole story as only the "good parts" from a classic tale by S. Morenstern. Of course, both the "original" book and author Goldman mentions were figments of his own imagination, which added an additional layer of mystique around the story. Whether you are a fan of the novel or got drawn into the world of Wesley and Buttercup thanks to the film, here are a few more books like The Princess Bride to lose yourself in.
by Neil Gaiman
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is very much a modern day fairy tale, which is something that it has in common with The Princess Bride. Tristran, the hero of Stardust, works on a farm and would go to any lengths to prove his love to the woman of his dreams, which is very similar to Westley from The Princess Bride. Both characters also go on long journeys that changes them before they are reunited with their true loves. While the Stardust movie attracted quite a talented cast of actors, including Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Danes, it failed to make much of an impact at the box office, which is something that happened to The Princess Bride movie as well. However, The Princess Bride went on to become a cult classic, which is something the Stardust movie did not. However, the novel is still great and should appeal to all fans of The Princess Brides.
by Cornelia Funke
The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke is about a man who has the special talent to transport characters from books into the real world when reading them out loud. This extraordinary gift caused a lot of chaos when he accidentally reads a book called Inkheart to his baby daughter, which brings the villains of the story to life and traps his wife in the book. His daughter, Meggie, is unaware of the power that her father has, so she can't understand why he does not want to read to her. This all changes one day when one of the villains who was brought into the real world finally tracks them down and decides to use Meggie as bait to exploit the talents of her father. It's not just the use of storytelling that The Inkheart Trilogy shares with The Princess Bride, but also the fantasy elements that make both books compelling to read.
by Peter S. Beagle
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle was first published in 1968, so there is some speculation that it might even have inspired some elements of The Princess Bride. It is certainly set in the same kind of tongue-in-cheek fantasy world that has made The Princess Bride so memorable. The Last Unicorn also features true love, but not from the characters expected or in the way that is commonly described in romance novels. It is the story about a unicorn who finds out that she might be the only one of her kind that is left in the world, which prompts her to brave the dangers outside of her enchanted woods to find out for sure. She is joined in her adventure by a woman named Molly and a magician named Schmendrick. Along the way the unicorn is transformed into a human and falls in love, but eventually it is Molly and Schmendrick who seem to get the happily ever after that they deserve.
by Michael Ende
Just like The Princess Bride, The Neverending Story is a fantasy novel that received a film adaptation that went on to become a cult classic. The story is about a boy named Bastian, who steals a book and then becomes engrossed in the story that takes place in a magical land called Fantastica. Bastian discovers that Fantastica is under a threat from an evil force known as The Nothing", and he might be the only one that can put an end to it. The Neverending Story features even more fantasy elements than The Princess Bride and lacks the "true love" elements, but shares the same sense of wonder and excitement. Many readers also believe that while both stories received wonderful film adaptations, those still pale in comparison to the books.
by Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks is perhaps better known for his Shanarra series of books, which is typical fantasy fare in the vein of Tolkien. However, he also wrote the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, which are a lot more humorous and whimsical, which makes them perfect for fans of The Princess Bride. In the first book, readers are introduced to Ben Holiday, a Chicago trial lawyer who ends up buying a magical kingdom called Landover. Ben quickly discovers that owning your own magic kingdom is a bit more exciting than what he anticipated. Over the course of the books Ben has to deal with all kinds of threats to his rule, including fire-breathing beasts, wicked witches and diabolical conjurers, but along the way he does find love again in the form of a sylph named Willow.