The Sleeper and the Spindle

Neil Gaiman
Nov 24, 2015

The princess is soon to be married and not very excited about the prospect.  She believes a life of matrimony will be the end of her ability to live her own life and make her own choices; she will be required to live and choose for the king and the kingdom.

Three dwarves wind their way through tunnels beneath the mountains to reach a city on the far side. They are seeking the most beautiful fabric available to offer as a wedding gift to their beloved princess. When they reach the first village on the other side, terrible news awaits them. A sleeping sickness is slowly creeping across the land. It is emanating from the castle where a beautiful princess has slept for the last 60 years, a result of pricking her finger on a poisoned spindle. The dwarves hurry back to the castle to warn the princess. She decides to travel to the other side of the mountain to try and stop the plague from reaching her kingdom. She is excited by the thought of an adventure and a delay to her dreaded wedding.

This book is simply beautiful. The intricate pen and ink illustrations touched with golden highlights complement the story, adding dimension to the characters. Look at them closely, there are so many details you won't want to miss! Interesting and unexpected twists in this mash up of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty include a feminist angle; the inclusion of zombie-like sleep walkers covered in cobwebs; and a strange old woman, unaffected by the sleeping spell, that attends the castle where Sleeping Beauty lies. And the end of the story ... perfect! Highly recommended for those who enjoy fairy tale retellings.

Reviewed by Library Staff

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