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The Sleeper and the Spindle

When you set out to fracture a fairy story there is none better than Neil Gaiman to do the job.With this very grown up  fairy story he has managed to combine both the Sleeping Beauty with Snow White and come up with a very, very plausible yarn, which is something like both of them but so very different.

There once was a young Queen who was not what she seemed as she was a bit more to her than the usual fairy story Queen. She was well aware of good and evil and was also aware of a princess who had been cursed by a seriously evil witch, to prick her finger and sleep forever unless a special someone came along to rescue her.

The Princess was in a different kingdom altogether, far away from the Queen’s own kingdom.

As she was about to be married, her faithful and trusty dwarf retainers were bringing her the finest silken cloth from Dorimar for her wedding present.

Along the way everyone they came across was either sleeping or falling asleep. When they finally met up with the Queen they were concerned that everyone in the kingdom was going to fall prey to this evil curse, sleeping their lives away.

So the Queen, with her trusty men set out to find out just what was going on. She kissed her groom goodbye, put on her chain mail, collected her sword, set off to right a wrong and rescue a princess from a curse.

This is her story and as it is magnificently illustrated by Chris Riddell the story has never been better presented.

It is story of good over evil and doing what is the right thing to do, even when perhaps you don’t really want too.

The illustrations are lavishly decorated with gold leaf adding that certain something to the story complimenting  the richness of the tale that unfolds as the Queen and her companions,  the dwarfs, venture into unknown territory and face a range of dangers in their quest to solve the problem.

 Fascinating and intriguing and that is only the illustrations, the story takes a refreshing look at a familiar tale making it very, very readable for today’s younger generation of sophisticated readers.

Author Neil Gaiman. Ill Chris Riddell.
Publisher Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781408859643