Monday 12 January 2015

Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

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.

Visit Neil Gaiman's website or Chris Riddell's website for more information.

The Sleeper and the Spindle is a dark and twisted fairytale that takes components of Sleeping Beauty and mixes in Snow White and three of the dwarves. A sleeping enchantment has been spreading across the neighbouring kingdom and it won't be long until it starts effecting Snow White's people too. As the queen it is up to her to put a stop to it so Snow happily puts her wedding plans on hold, swaps her gown for chain mail and sets out on a quest to wake Sleeping Beauty and her people. I'm not going to tell you if she manages or not so you're just going to have to read the book to find out.

I loved fairytales as a child, in fact I still love them now as an adult, but I got a little sick of reading about princess who sit around waiting to be rescued by their handsome prince so I absolutely loved this story for bucking that trend. There are no handsome princes in sight, well there is one but he's only mentioned in passing as Snow White postpones her wedding to go off and save a fellow princess so he doesn't really count! This is a story where girls take centre stage and prove that they are more than capable of fighting their own battles and I loved every minute of it. Neil Gaiman has written a fabulous story that turns the usual fairytale tropes upside down and the twist at the end was fantastic.

I can't review this book properly without talking about Chris Riddell's gorgeous illustrations. The black and white drawings with gold foil accents are on every page and they're so beautifully detailed that I probably spent longer looking at the pictures than I did actually reading the words of the story! The illustrations really bring the characters to life and help to make the story even more special. The hardback is just stunning, from the transparent slip cover to the gold foil throughout this is a book to treasure and it would make a wonderful gift for children of all ages.

Source: Received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.



  1. I really enjoyed this one, especially Riddell's artwork.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this too Darren, the artwork is stunning isn't it!



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