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Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle

by Neil Gaiman



A thrillingly re-imagined 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.

- Goodreads

This is an absolutely beautiful book. The story had some amazing twists that make you go ‘Aww well that was clever!’ and the art work… wow. Just wow. Chris Riddell’s artwork is stunning with added gold highlights to enhance the detailed black and white linear drawings, reminiscent of old style storybook illustrations. IMG_20141125_131002

There is a double page in this book that, taken out of context, has left quite a few people with the delusion that this is a LGBT take on a fairytale. I loved this, mainly because it made you wonder but when you actually read it you realise Neil Gaiman has essentially removed gender and sexuality from the equation and challenged traditional fairytale convention to create a unique and interesting adaptation.

Everyone should read this but I would say younger children may struggle with some of the words used, as it seems primarily written for adults and teens.




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