Tuesday, 21 April 2015

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


Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman
Author Info: Website|Journal|Facebook|Twitter
Illustrator: Chris Riddell
Illustrator Info: Website|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Publication Date: 23rd October 2014
Rating: 2 stars

Tell Me About It
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.

My Thoughts
The Sleeper and the Spindle has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, when I received it off the publisher in a Christmas box surprise. The first thing that caught my attention about The Sleeper and the Spindle were the illustrations, they were absolutely stunning, and each new page only showed more and more. Below is just a small example of what the book holds.
The Sleeper and the Spindle follows a Queen who is due to be married, but after the Dwarves visit an inn on the other side of the mountain, they return back to her, and they set out on a mission to save a sleeping princess. I really liked the idea behind The Sleeper and the Spindle, a mixture of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, so I was excited to read this. However, once I began reading I soon realised the I liked the illustrations more than the book itself.

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the story, I just found it hard to follow. I know this book is less than one hundred pages long, so following a story this small should be easy, but I felt like it jumped around too much. For starters the Dwarves are in the inn, but then they leave to go an look at the sleeping people, then the next thing they are back with the Queen, with no mention of what they see. Then we go from being under the mountain with the Queen, to having a conversation in the inn itself.

I'm not really going to say much else about this book, as I don't want to spoil it, but I do feel a bit cheated out of what could have been an amazing twist on two stories I really like.

Final Verdict
I went into this one with some excitement, but finished it feeling let down by the story itself. However, the illustrations are something that really makes this book special.

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