'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

REVIEW: The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell

The Sleeper and the SpindleTitle: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell
Series: None
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 23rd October, 2014

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.
Credit to Chris Riddell
This book was everything I hoped it would be and more! I sat and devoured the entire thing in roughly half an hour. The Sleeper and the Spindle is easily the most gorgeous book that I own. The illustrations are phenomenal, the colours are perfection and the writing flows beautifully and effortlessly. As soon as I heard that this was a re-telling of two of my favourite fairy tales (Snow White & Sleeping Beauty) AND contained LGBT themes I was on ultra stalk mode for this book. I knew I needed it and couldn't wait to read it.

This is my first time reviewing an illustrated book, so bare with me while I try and sort through my thoughts. The first thing that struck me about The Sleeper and the Spindle was the cover. The cover's dust jacket has the printing of the title on an illustrated but transparent sheet and on the actual hardback cover is the drawing of Sleeping Beauty. This looked gorgeous and it's definitely something that's going to jump off the shelf. Throughout the book the colours are black, white and gold. The pictures jump out at you and drag you deeper into the story. The gold touches are perfection and draw attention to certain elements of the story. I just loved it. It's one of the most beautifully illustrated books I've read.

The story itself was flawless. Gaiman shows the capability of our favourite Princess/ Queen to stick two fingers to the patriarchy and do her own bit of rescuing. I can't recommend this book enough. There are a few twists and turns; things are definitely not what they seem. This is one of the most amazing fairy tale re-tellings that I've come across yet and it's got me in the mood to fully immerse myself in Gaiman's writing. I don't know how else to write this review without including spoilers, but I can definitely guarantee that you're all in for a treat!

Credit to Chris Riddell

1 comment:

  1. Your review for this one makes me extremely happy :D When I first heard of it, my hopes kind of skyrocketed...I couldn't help it. Reading how you decribed the illustrations and the story just sound like perfection to me! And since I still need to read some (any) Gaiman, this sounds like the way to start ;-) Glad you enjoyed this one so much Leah xx


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