Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Willow” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Willow (Chronicles of the Shadow War)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,015 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
A novel by Wayland Drew, based on a screenplay by Bob Dolman, from a story by George Lucas.

A wondrous tale of a child...a prophecy...and the power of magic.

The Child
She was born with the mark on her arm. The mark of the one who would cause the downfall of Queen Bavmorda, and end her evil reign. If she survived...

The Prophecy
The legend told of the Queen that a child would b
Mass Market Paperback, 276 pages
Published January 12th 1988 by Ballantine Books (Mm) (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Willow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Willow

Carrie by Stephen KingWitch in the Woods by T. A. BunkerThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanMedea by EuripidesCoraline by Neil Gaiman
Evil Moms!
61 books — 54 voters
Tiger's Voyage by Colleen HouckTiger's Quest by Colleen HouckFallen by Lauren KateTorment by Lauren KateInstruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai by Alexei Maxim Russell
Favourite Reads
114 books — 78 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 30, 2012 Werner rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of high or epic fantasy
Theoretically, this book by Canadian author Wayland Drew is the novelization of the 1988 movie Willow. However, it's not based directly on the movie itself, but on Bob Dolman's screenplay (which was itself developed from a guiding storyline written by George Lucas). Much of this screenplay was omitted --and some of it apparently changed, usually to condense and simplify the dialogue and action-- in filming the actual movie, and one of the stars (Val Kilmer) ad-libbed most of his dialogue. So the ...more
Anna Gasperini
Aug 14, 2013 Anna Gasperini rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book is the novelisation of a movie that marked my early childhood and teenage years. I developed a weird relationship with the movie, considering that, as a child, half of it gave me the creeps and I didn't understand much of the remaining half, but I still love re-watching it. One day, when in high school, I discovered the book on a shelf of one of my parent's many, many bookshelves in our house. "Wait, they wrote the book?!" I said, and my mother replied: "Why, yes! Read it, it's good." ...more
David Sarkies
Feb 10, 2012 David Sarkies rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like a bit of fantasy
Recommended to David by: My friends from the State Library of South Australia
Shelves: fantasy
It may be a cut down version of Lord of the Rings, but I still loved it
10 February 2012

While this is actually a novelisation of the film, I am giving it a higher rating than normal because I believe that Willow pretty much sets the standard for what one expects from a fantasy setting, and also follows what I consider to be the stamdard line many other fantasy novels have taken in the 80s onwards (well, actually, that accolade actually goes to The Hobbit, but it still broke ground as a cinematic
Apr 04, 2012 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
Let me start off by saying that I adored this movie. I loved the soundtrack. I loved the story. I loved the acting. Everything was simply amazing. Well worth watching.
Now... On to the book.
Like any book that is released after a movie, things were added, and things were taken out. The majority of the dialogue was the same, and the storyline was the same. I read this book over the course of three hours during school, the day before Spring Break, since I did essentially nothing in any of my classes
Audrey Terry
To say that my opinion of this book is biased would be a gross understatement. I grew up watching this movie at my grandmas house, almost on repeat and my love of it has not diminished over the years. The characters are lovable, the plot charmingly predictable, and the magic is of course, epic. This was my first read through of the book, and I really enjoyed it. For me, this fleshed out the plot better than the movie, especially scenes like the ones where Raziel is transformed into multiple anim ...more
I loved this movie and I thought it would be fun to read the book. It was. No surprises, of course, but still fun to read. I'm not sure if it was to my benefit to have seen the movie first because I already had the characters in my mind.
Sep 22, 2007 Speedtribes rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2007 Corrielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The movie Willow came out on the heels of my being introduced to Narnia and The Hobbit for the first time. I fell in love immediately. There was a prophecy, fairies, little people, and a very beautiful girl who could also hold her own with a sword. Also, I trace my love for snarky, long-haired, trouble-causing swordsmen right back to this story's door.

"Yes, Corri, but what about the BOOK?" I hear you say. Well, in the summer of 1988, I was seven years old, and my parents took me on a road trip
Dec 19, 2015 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

¡Estoy perdidamente enamorada de esta historia de aventuras! Desde niña, "Willow"es la película que marcó mi infancia y, ya de adulta, sigue siendo la más especial de todas. Para algunos será mejor, para otros será peor. Pero para mí es única e irrepetible.

Así que tenía que hacerme con este libro a toda costa. Y, como no podía ser de otro modo, nada más caer en mis manos fue devorado. Ni 24 horas le he dado a sus páginas. Y quizá debería haberle dado más tiempo para saborearlo, par
James Caterino
Vivid, fully realized novelization of the 1988 Ron Howard directed, George Lucas produced film. Both the movie and this book were ahead of its time and would far be more appreciated today in the post "Lord of the Rings”/”Harry Potter” era of the 2000s. Back in 1988 fantasy as a genre (especially in movies) was deader than disco.

The writing by Wayland Drew is outstanding. He does not merely write out the script in prose form, but creates an actual fantasy novel complete with detailed world buildi
Sep 21, 2010 Waven rated it liked it
Shelves: youth, fiction
Honestly, I got more enjoyment from the movie. The book stays true to the story, with additional scenes here and there, and gives more detail along the way but never seems quite able to capture the spirit of the film. (I mention this principally because it is a book based on a screenplay; the movie came first.) It is a good enough book for young adults, with decent helpings of humor, action, and a dash of romance against the background battle of good versus evil ... but I found it a little flat. ...more
Avery Jacobs
Aug 24, 2013 Avery Jacobs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biased rating. I didn't think I would care for this much because I've seen the movie more times than I can count but I genuinely enjoyed this book. It was the same story but with some differences.

(view spoiler)
Lígia Bellini
Jun 25, 2014 Lígia Bellini rated it it was amazing
Willow was one of my favorite movie! I was a child, when i watched it and i loved the magical story about the good fighting against evil! The bound, the friendship created between the characters is lovely!! The whole mission is enchanting, but still full of actions and dark moments! The same way, i enjoyed watching the movie, i enjoyed the reading!! Willow is a little guy with a big heart and courage! As expected, but always a true thing, with love is possible to conquer!! A beautiful and deligh ...more
Margaret Kearney
Feb 02, 2011 Margaret Kearney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I love the movie.Its one of my top 10 favourite.Bought this book over a year ago and this is the first time I've read it.And I loved.Stays very true to the movie but fleshes it out a bit more especially character history wise.Which is my favourite thing about this book.Absolutley recommend especially if you are a fan.I also recommend the sequel series Chronicles of the Shadow War.
P.S. Winn
Jun 25, 2016 P.S. Winn rated it really liked it
What a great tale of magic and fantasy, I have read and re-read this book and had my children read it, time for the grandchildren to give it a try.
Alexandria Luttke
Feb 13, 2017 Alexandria Luttke rated it really liked it
Willow Ufgood wants to be a magician, but when baby Alora comes into his life he finds that he will need not only magic but courage to defeat the evil queen. Personally, I was motivated to get this book because I LOVE the movie; the movie is called Willow and it was released in the 80s. Incidentally, the book was written after the movie, and it is filled with supplemental stories and internal dialogue that makes it on its own a great call-to-adventure story. I would recommend this book to anyone ...more
Oct 01, 2016 Ela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016, fantasy
Highly recommended for the fans of the movie but works very well as a worthy standalone fantasy novel.

What follows are my notes on differences between the movie and its novelization and they include spoilers.

In the novel but not in the movie:
- How Elora survived in the wilderness before she got into the Nelwyn village.
- Vohnkar’s (the Nelwyn warrior) history (that’s actually tied up with Tir Asleen and Elora!)
- Fin Raziel and Bavmorda’s history.
- You finally learn why the heck is Tir Asleen impo
Jan 18, 2011 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2011, 1980s
Willow tells the story of a Nelwyn, a halfling race similar to hobbits from what I can gather, who finds a baby washed up from the river bordering his lands. It turns out that this baby is the Elora Danan, the child foretold in prophecy whose birth would bring about the downfall of the evil sorceress Bavmorda who rules over the lands. Pursued by the Death Dogs and Bavmorda’s minions, Willow must find the good sorceress Fin Raziel and, together with swordsman Madmartigan and some dubious brownies ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Lorien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those of you who don't know the amazingness of the movie of Willow I suggest you search it out and watch it. You might have trouble as it's only on VHS.

It follows the story of Willow Ufgood, a Nelwyn farmer (aka little person) who gets caught up trying to get a Daikini (average sized human) baby girl to a lost city before the evil sorceress queen Bavmorda kills her. He meets fantasy Han Solo Madmartigan (which is cool this is a story from George Lucas), and a badass princess who can't decide
Ана Хелс
Nov 30, 2013 Ана Хелс rated it really liked it
Едва ли има някой, който да не е гледал свежото филмче на Лукас за дребния приличен на хобит Уилоу , понесъл порозовяло ухилено бебче през ледена пустош и черни блата, в компанията на мърлявия авантюрист Вал Килмър и банда а-ла старуорски чудовища , напомнящи на добрите стари Хенсънови механични кукли. Самата книга не стои кой знае колко далече от филма, така че няма какво да ви учуди или допълни с нещо общото впечатление. Текстът е малко повърхностен, на моменти доста жесток, с разни търкалящи ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Erinn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I remember picking this book up at the mall right after seeing the movie in the theater. It might have been the second time I'd seen the movie and when I saw the book on display I figured why not. As it turned out I loved it. I was around thirteen at the time and loved fantasy and I loved being able to read this book. Not only did I find it entertaining to read a few more times, but it explained a few things like what happened to the third acorn. Even as a kid, I was a bit of a nit picker. I sti ...more
Antonio Rosato
Solitamente da un libro di successo viene subito tratto un film... con Willow, invece, è successo esattamente il contrario: dal bellissimo film del 1988 di Ron Howard (e interpretato da Warwick Davis e Val Kilmer), basato su un precedente racconto del regista George Lucas, nello stesso anno Wayland Drew ne ricava questo libro che non è altro che... il film messo su carta con, al massimo, qualche aggiunta extra ma nulla di più! Il libro, comunque, ha una trama che, a prima vista, sembra scritta p ...more
Victor Orozco
Nov 11, 2014 Victor Orozco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice story. Its been a long time since I've seen this movie, but I have to admit George Lucas created a very nice magic story.

Its not just Sci-Fi he's great with apparently and he does it with the utmost dignity. In many ways this story was like the Hobbit long before it was done in theaters and it was done the old-fashioned way with dwarf actors playing the role of the Nelwyns. Without a doubt Warwick Davis has far more talent to have been doing the Leprechaun series. Sadly George stuck to Sci-
Jul 29, 2014 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
Somehow I get the feeling that most of the 5 star reviews are more based on how people experienced the movie, tinted with some nostalgia, because to be honest, this book is bad.

Willow is one of my favorite fantasy movies, although it's definitely not without it's flaws. As a novelization the book follows the plot of the movie precisely, even when the timing of scenes would gain by departing from the 'and then... and then' structure of a movie script.
Add the infodumps splattered around the book,
Vincent Asaro
Dec 10, 2013 Vincent Asaro rated it really liked it
Above average movie adaptation. Written in an engaging 1980's YA fantasy style.

The book is interesting to Willow fans for several reasons: it contains elements from earlier drafts that are not in the movie; it contains deleted scenes not in the movie; it contains three vignettes composed by George Lucas and one by the author that expand the background of the world/characters; the author adds geographical, biographical and other details that flesh out the story and the world. It also hints at th
Alexandra Wimberley
Feb 26, 2016 Alexandra Wimberley rated it liked it
A novelization of the film Willow, I really enjoyed reading this because it was able to include certain storylines that had to be dropped from the movie owing to time constraints. It was great being able to see the whole story as it had originally been meant to be told, albeit in a different medium. I feel like I had kind of hoped for some stronger characterization, since I feel like (with the exception of Willow himself), the characterization of others seemed pale, or almost incomplete with oth ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Derek rated it liked it
Ah, now this was a fun book. When I was growing up the movie "Willow" was one of my favorites. When I saw the book I was hesitant. The book is based of the screen play of the movie. A book based on a movie? I had my concerns.

While the movie was really fuzzy in my mind and I wasn't able to compair it that well to the book, I would have to say that the book was fantastic. It was a great little romp through fantasy. I fell in love with the little Newlyn, and how much he cared for Elora. This is a
Jun 13, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I saw this movie as a child and read the book when it came out shortly there after. I found it just recently in a pile of used paperbacks so it was a nostalgia read.

This book is simply a movie book. Seeing the movie will not wreck the book and reading the book first only enhances the movie. It is fantasy pure and simple. It follows all of the rules of "On Thud and Blunder" essay by Poul Anderson and "A Though Guide to Fantasyland" by Diana Wynn Jones. It is a nice piece of unrealistic fantasy br
Dec 14, 2008 Kirsten rated it liked it
The novel adaptation of the 80s classic movie, WILLOW follows the birth and toddlerhood of young Elora Danan as she's hunted by an evil queen in the hopes of not fufilling a prophecy set since her birth. Her caretaker on this quest? Willow Ufgood, a farmer from a small village. The book is fantastic, the movie's fantastic.. All in all this story is a pleasure and brings back fond childhood memories.
Nola Redd
Nov 24, 2015 Nola Redd rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
One of the rare times that the movie is actually better than the book.

If you loved the movie, you'll recognize several of your favorite lines in this novel. The writing is okay, and the characters are flat, but the story is, well, epic. Can't say I like some of the inserts, like 'XXX's story' as an actual titled break. Why not just have the character tell the story? Still, I grew up on the movie, so I couldn't resist picking up the novel at Goodwill.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Willow, by Wayland Drew 3 13 May 17, 2016 02:28PM  
  • Shadow Star (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #3)
  • The Dark Crystal
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Indiana Jones #2)
  • Back to the Future, Part 3
  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Indiana Jones #1)
  • The Goblins of Labyrinth
  • Stargate
  • Tron
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Indiana Jones #3)
  • Gremlins
  • Shadowbridge (Shadowbridge, #1)
  • Elfquest: Journey to Sorrows End
  • The Black Hole
  • Ladyhawke
  • The Usurper (King Rolen's Kin, #3)
  • Against the Wind (Elfquest: The Blood of Ten Chiefs, #4)
  • The Problem with Thor Bridge
  • Brunner the Bounty Hunter
Wayland Drew (1932-1998) was a writer born in Oshawa, Ontario. He attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto, where he earned a BA in English Language and Literature (1957). Shortly after graduation he married Gwendolyn Parrott and together they raised four children. From 1961-1994 he was a high school teacher in Port Perry, Bracebridge, and Muskoka Lakes. He also worked for the Ontari ...more
More about Wayland Drew...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of the Shadow War (3 books)
  • Shadow Moon (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #1)
  • Shadow Dawn (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #2)
  • Shadow Star (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Forget all you know or think you know; abandon power and enforced decree. Inward, where the deepest rivers flow, find the currents of eternity.
- Fin Raziel”
“Life is life," Meegosh shouted over the grumbling crowd. "Life is precious.” 4 likes
More quotes…