Review Tuesday: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

I find that Neil Gaiman is hit or miss with me. For instance, I really enjoyed Stardust, but I loathed American Gods. I made it only about 100 pages in before I abandoned it. So, I was very happy that I enjoyed reading The Sleeper and the Spindle.

TheSleeperandtheSpindle_Hardback_1418011159From Goodreads:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.

Firstly, this book is a visual masterpiece. I loved the illustrations. They are beautiful, and I find that they add a lot to the story. They help tell the tale. I got creeped out looking at some of them, and I loved others – like the ones where you meet the dwarves. 

sleeper 3

This book looks and feels, and is, a true fairy tale. And like all true fairy tales this one has a darkness to it. This is the original kind of fairy tale where sometimes the world is a cruel and terrible place simply because it can be. It’s what fairy tales were before Disney came along.

There is also an excellent twist to the tale that I very much enjoyed, and didn’t see coming. It’s nice when an old tale takes on new twists and turns. The twist was definitely what gave this book its emotional punch.

This is not a book for young children I don’t think. I’d say maybe grades 4-5, and obviously, any adult who wants to give it a go.

I really enjoyed this tale, and I would recommend it to anyone is in the mood for a good tale.


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