Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Chris Riddell
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Hardcover: 71
Source: Chicago Public Library, Overdrive
Summary: (taken from 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.

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Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

I ADORED this book! Gaiman weaves together the stories of Snow White after she defeats her stepmother and Sleeping Beauty, who is still under the sleeping curse.

First, I love fairy tale retellings and I love that we get a 2-for-1 with this one. It’s great that Gaiman continues Snow White’s story by having her enter into Sleeping Beauty’s. Second, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. Riddell has outdone himself with this one — it’s beautifully illustrated.

It’s hard to tell what I liked so much about it without giving spoilers, but it’s brilliant. There are nice elements of feminism and coming-of-age, with Snow White questioning what she actually wants from her life and what she’d like to do in the future. Is her happily ever after really getting married? These doubts are what motivate her to go out to break the sleeping curse that has been rapidly spreading from Sleeping Beauty’s kingdom and might encroach upon her own.

If you’re a fairy tale fan, read this. If you like good stories, read this. It’s short, beautiful, and just a wonderful story. I love it so much and can’t wait to buy my own copy.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

  1. Gaiman and fairy tale / retelling fan here! Hahaha
    So I’m pretty sure I’ll adore this book as well, and knowing how wonderfully written it is and how it includes such lovely illustrations makes me even more excited to pick it up <3
    Wonderful review! 🙂

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