Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman (site)
Illustrator: Chris Riddell (site)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 69
Release Date: 23rd October 2014
Edition: Hardcover, Library
Goodreads | Book Depository

Synopsis (from Bloomsbury Publishing):

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. Shortlisted for The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveThe Sleeper and the Spindle is a very short retelling of Sleeping Beauty (and Little Snow-White, I believe). Despite its length, it is a powerful fairytale with a twist you never see coming. I really love how Neil Gaiman threw away all our beliefs in the tradition story and changed it into a darker tale. The writing style suits the magical atmosphere of this story. Choices of words such as "enchantress", "crimson rose", "manner of creature", "mortal folks" and so on really aids the story into building a enchanted world in the reader's mind.

The illustrations in this book are stunning. I love the style of it and with the popularity of colouring books these days, I believe the illustrations are designed for the readers to fill in the colours.

The idea in this book makes me hope that Gaiman will keep on writing retellings and getting them published. Maybe a longer one. I am starving for more.

Read an excerpt HERE.


  1. I can't wait to get this book. I love the design and I always need to buy books about fairytales.


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