Book Cover
Title The Sleeper and the Spindle
Series ---
Author Neil Gaiman
Illustrated By Chris Riddell
Publisher Harper Collins - 2015
First Printing Bloomsbury - 2014
Category Graphic novel
Warnings None

Main Characters

The queen, the princess, the evil fairy, the dwarves

Main Elements Fairy Tales

It was the closest kingdom to the queen's as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it.

You may think you know this story. There's a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess cursed by a witch, so rumour has it, to sleep forever.

But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero if a princess needs rescuing...

I was returning some books to the library when the ones I wanted to pick up weren't available. Looking around for something that was short I stumbled across this in the fantasy section, probably mishelved (since other graphic books either go in their own section or the kids section) but at least I wasn't going home empty handed! And after all, it was written by Neil Gaiman, I had just read his American Gods books so was didn't mind trying something else of his.

You might think this is a kid's story, but this takes an already dark tale of magic and makes it even darker, and creepier, with lots of spiderwebs, thorns and even blood. Well, all the original fairy tales were darker than the Disney versions we tell now. And if your kid likes Coraline or the Graveyard Book they won't have any trouble with this one either.

No one is who they seem. Not the queen that hears about the sleeping princess and rides off to rescue her (a good part of that was because she wasn't interested in getting married the next day), not the princess who sleeps in the castle surrounded by thorns, not the witch who still haunts the castle, and not even the sleepers who snore and move and wait to be awakened. I liked the twists to the story that Gaiman wove in, but felt the language could have been more lyrical, more like a fairy tale...maybe I expected it to rhyme?

The artwork is very good (though he could use a little more practice drawing wolves), but the rest was appropriately beautiful or downright creepy. I must say I loved the sleeping cow on page 19.

So overall, I liked it, but I didn't love it but still happy I stumbled across it.

Posted: November 2017


Background, images and content (unless otherwise noted) are SunBlind
Do not use without permission.