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The Sleeper and the Spindle

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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.

72 pages, Hardcover

First published October 22, 2013

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Neil Gaiman

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5 stars
14,305 (29%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,027 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,946 reviews292k followers
September 23, 2015
2 1/2 stars. I almost always love Gaiman's work, but this one was mediocre for me.

Riddell's artwork is - not surprisingly - absolutely stunning. The illustrations are black and white gorgeousness, decorated with gold leaf here and there. It's definitely a visually impressive book.

And yes - there's a cool twist to the traditional Sleeping Beauty tale, as well as a new spin on the Snow White story. But the book is so short that there are no really interesting or developed characters. The villain is the traditional, one-dimensional kind that longs for youth and power, and the story just felt like it needed something else in order to be memorable.

Pretty much any story that relies on its big twist kind of falls flat, in my opinion.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
December 10, 2020
I've read so many versions of fairy tales that it takes a really interesting spin(dle) (ha) for me to enjoy.

Unfortunately, this was not the case

The best part - how Gaiman takes the fairy tale characters and weaves them into a new-old story.
“You don’t need princes to save you. I don’t have a lot of patience for stories in which women are rescued by men."
Yes, there's a sleeping beauty but she's nothing is like the original story. Yes, there's a Snow White, but gone is the calm Disney gal.
Learning how to be strong, to feel her own emotions and not another's, had been hard; but once you learned the trick of it, you did not forget.
However.... the whole story had a very lackluster feel to it.

Maybe it's because I've read too many versions of fairytales but I just wasn't wowed.

It has too many lines like this:
But the path to her death, heartbeat by heartbeat, would be inevitable.
or this:
It would be the end of her life, she decided, if life was a time of choices.
which (of course) made everything ridiculously and overwhelmingly dramatic... which is one sure way to take me out of the story.

And I didn't feel the romance - for some reason,
I went on thinking that this would be a lesbian retelling of sleeping beauty. Boy was I wrong.

I really wanted to see that build/emotional development and the was absolutely nothing. Hugely disappointed.

Overall, this one was alright. Annnd that's about as positive as I can get.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Neil Gaiman and (as always) he provides an excellent audio rendition

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Profile Image for Charlotte May.
684 reviews1,050 followers
June 9, 2020
3.5 ⭐️

This was an interesting take on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty, with a few new characters that you may recognise.

The pictures by Chris Riddell were FANTASTIC. But then I always knew they would be since reading The Edge Chronicles, he is an amazing illustrator.

A curse has taken over the castle and is spreading further and further afield. A nearby Queen, along with three dwarves heads into the castle to find out what has caused this sleep sickness, and how it can be stopped.



Overall, a good retelling with a few twists.


********************

Slowly working my way through everything Neil Gaiman has written :)
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
April 24, 2021
The queen (Snow White) is preparing to marry her prince and to live happily in her kingdom until she’s informed of a sleeping enchantment that’s taken over everyone in a nearby land. She takes matters into her own hands, alongside her dwarves-at-arms, and leaves on a journey to see what this enchantment is all about.

“She called for provisions, and for her horse, and then she rode out of the palace, towards the east.”

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. I adored Snow, Glass, Apples and have enjoyed nearly everything I’ve read by him. This fairy tale was enjoyable too. It’s more of a reimagining than a retelling because it combines “Snow White” with “Sleeping Beauty” but woven into a new, unique tale with a main emphasis on the women. The writing is smooth, making this an easy read, and it’s a quick one too with under 100 pages, including the illustrations. I grabbed the physical copy and read it along with the full-cast audio. I highly recommend the audio because it helps to deeply immerse you in the story creating a richer experience.

“This is not honorable,” said a dwarf. “We should stay and fight.”

“There is no honor,” gasped the queen, “in fighting an opponent who has no idea that you are even there. No honor in fighting someone who is dreaming of fishing or of gardens or of long-dead lovers.”

“What would they do if they caught us?” asked the dwarf beside her.”

“Do you wish to find out?” asked the queen.

“No,” admitted the dwarf.


The Sleeper and the Spindle is dark and gothicky with some neat twists. It’s beautifully illustrated in black and white by Chris Riddell, which magnificently complements the story. The cover is stunning too! This had me engaged, but in the end, felt too short and simple with more room to grow, which left me craving more. This would be amazing as a full-length novel.

Overall, this was an interesting read, and I’m glad to have read it.

4****

You can also see this review @www.readrantrockandroll.com
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
August 15, 2019
Final review, posted at www.FantasyLiterature.com:

Neil Gaiman took one of his twisted, rather creepy fairy tale stories and turned it into a 66 page picture book with wonderfully whimsical and detailed illustrations by Chris Riddell (who also did the amazing illustrations in the illustrated version of Neverwhere).

description

I went out on a limb recommending this to Kelly (and the Book Boar) for her fairy tale retellings project when I was only halfway done with this, but I'm relieved to say I still liked it when I finally finished it last night.

A queen is (reluctantly) about to get married, but when a sleeping sickness spreads through a neighboring kingdom and threatens hers, she sets aside her plans, puts on her mail shirt and sword, and heads off with her dwarf friends to take care of the problem herself. There’s a fascinating, gradual reveal of who the queen actually is, and Gaiman deftly interweaves details about how her past experiences inform her present decisions.

Occasionally it seems like Gaiman is pandering just a bit to readers:
She called for her fiancé and told him not to take on so, and that they would still be married, even if he was but a prince and she a queen, and she chucked him beneath his pretty chin and kissed him until he smiled.
It feels as if he’s trying to display how much he supports female empowerment, which is a great thing except when it gets in the way of the actual story. And I can't say I'm all that sympathetic to the queen's feeling that, because she's getting married and ruling a kingdom for the rest of her life, she has "no choices" and "the path to her death, heartbeat by heartbeat, would be inevitable." Seriously?

But there are some really nice touches to the story--the queen's decisive action when she comes up to the Sleeping Beauty castle, surrounded by deadly thorns that have killed many adventurous men, had me thinking, why didn't any of the guys ever think of doing that? A suitably creepy note is added when it develops that the people struck by the sleeping sickness do more than just sleep. And the detailed pen-and-ink illustrations with touches of gold really made the story. I loved the skull motif, which subtly changes at the end.

description

This story may not be amazingly unique--there are a lot of dark fairy tale retellings out there--but between Gaiman's fantastic use of words and imagery, and Riddell's gorgeous illustrations, this is a pretty easy 4 star book for me.
March 1, 2022
“You don’t need princes to save you. I don’t have a lot of patience for stories in which women are rescued by men”.

La verdad es que me esperaba que esta fuera una narración más del antiguo cuento de La Bella Duemiente, pero Neil Gaiman le da una perspectiva bastante interesante a la historia, incluyendo personajes inesperados y giros de trama, sobre todo cuando llegamos al final. Si bien los momentos sorprendentes de la trama me gustaron y las ilustraciones son algo fuera de este mundo, como siempre con los libros de Neil Gaiman, hay algo en su estilo que no me termina de encajar. Pero, vamos, que esto es una apreciación completamente personal.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,415 reviews7,425 followers
January 22, 2016
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“There are always choices.”

It seems every time I delve into the world of a retelling I begin by pointing out how much I didn’t care for the original. I guess it should come as no surprise that Snow White and Sleeping Beauty weren’t my idea of a great time when I was a kid either. In fact, the entire world of Disney princesses kinda creeps me out – unless it’s these kind of princesses . . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

But I digress.

Due to the above I didn’t have high expectations upon starting The Sleeper and the Spindle and was pleasantly surprised with the end result of this mashup. The story is about a young queen (Snow White) who is given word by three of her loyal followers (dwarfs) about a sleeping sickness that fell over a neighboring kingdom decades before, but has begun to spread. Unlike all the pansy-ass Disney broads, this queen decides to take care of the problem herself. You know why????? Because . . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

While I generally fall into the “idiot overzealous fangirl” side of the spectrum when it comes to Gaiman, this one wasn’t quite as good as Snow, Glass, Apples so it hovered around the 3.5 mark. I’m rounding up, however, because there was a little more to the story than met the eye that left Mitchell and I looking something like this . . . .



And also because it was oh so very pretty to look at . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

I mean REALLY pretty . . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

My friend Sam disagrees with me about per near errrrrything, but somehow I still like him anyway. (In this case it’s probably because he’s so much smarter than I am and I have to acknowledge he probably read this correctly and I just got mesmerized with the pretty pictures and the fact that the female lead wasn't some douchey damsel in distress). If you want to see what the “meh” crowd thought about The Sleeper and the Spindle, go check out his review.

This selection was chosen for my library’s Winter Reading Challenge. Many thanks to Tadiana for the recommendation. Three more books and the limited edition coffee mug will be MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!

Palm Springs commercial photography
Profile Image for Anne.
3,869 reviews69.2k followers
May 2, 2020
Alright, now I listened to the full-cast audiobook and thought that was lovely.
However, that meant that I didn't get to look at any of the lovely drawings that everyone else is talking about in their reviews. From what I can find online, they're worth eyeballing.
Free Lesson of the Day: Life is a series of trade-offs, kids.

description

Okey-doke.
Gaiman is very much hit or miss with me. I sometimes feel like he goes off on rambling tangents and I do not care to traipse along with him. But how much trouble can he get into with a short story?
Not much, thankfully.

Spoilers Below!

description

I like that he made the queen a badass, but more than that, I liked that she was the one who kissed the sleeping princess without it turning into some sort of crappy, jerk-off lesbian fantasy material.
However. There's just not a lot here. Faux Snow White (now a queen) takes off with a few dwarves to go check out some odd happenings a few days (weeks? not sure, but it was a damn sight close) before her marriage. She ends up unraveling a mystery and saving the kingdom of Pseudo Sleeping Beauty. <--the kiss, remember?
Then she decides she wants to have adventures instead of marriage and tromps off into the sunset and away from her kingdom.

description

Except that was weird. Not her choosing adventure, just the way she did it. I mean, she was the boss when she left her kingdom. There didn't seem to be a valid reason to leave, you know? It didn't appear that she was being forced into marriage, even if she was only mildly fond of the prince and it was a political match. And if she leaves, what happens to all of her subjects? How are you going to guarantee that some tyrant isn't going to step in and take over? If you are the queen of a kingdom and you want to chuck it all and become a pirate, well...you do you. But common courtesy says that you should (as a responsible adult) at least make sure the kingdom doesn't end up getting turned over to someone who is twirling their mustache and cackling. I assume she thought it was all going to be ok, but I think you'd need a visual confirmation for something that big.
Also, the prince deserved better than getting ghosted. There was nothing in the story that says he was anything other than a good guy. <--doesn't mean she needs to love him, but it does mean he should get more than a lifetime of wondering if his fiancee got eaten by a bear.

description

Bitching aside, it was a good short story that gave the Snow White & Sleeping Beauty fairytales a nice little kick in the ass.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,106 reviews3,880 followers
January 9, 2019
Let ancient magic weave its soporific spell.
Choose your path, your destiny, and your friends wisely.
Take care of what you touch along the way.
Beware the briars and spiders’ webs that would entrap and cocoon you.
Don’t be beguiled by transient and superficial beauty.
Let ancient magic weave its soporific spell.


Image: Dedications to daughters, illustrated with dwarfs

“Once upon a time....”

Words we love to hear and, a generation later, read aloud. Snuggled in a comfy chair, adult wrapping child in loving arms, sharing the journey through enchanted worlds.

This physically sumptuous book doesn’t open with those words, but it doesn’t need to. It immediately has the welcoming familiarity of folklore and the rhythm of myth. But that is sharpened by twists of tangled thorns, and frissons of melancholy and menace. It is eternal, but fresh. Entrancing, and new.

It’s ideal for children, but equally delightful for adults in a suitable frame of mind - or wanting to be, as I was. Escape to childhood for half an hour.

It has elements of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, set in an echo of Middle Earth, led by the women who are largely absent in Tolkien's world, plus (male) dwarfs. All are nameless, the better for us to know them, and maybe be them.


Image: The young Queen: brave, logical, creative, and with “a tone of casual command”.

Few adults will be greatly surprised by the tweaks in plot, but no matter: one isn’t with traditional tellings either. I loved it.

“They felt the castle long before they saw it, felt it as a wave of sleep that pushed them away. If they walked towards it their heads fogged, their minds frayed, their spirits fell, their thoughts clouded.”

Fine Art for All the Senses


Image: The sleeper and the spinner?

If I’d read just the words, this would have been a solid 3*, but I’ve long loved Riddell’s work, and he, along with the publisher and printers, raise the book to a realm above the high mountain range that even crows do not cross.

The pictures are black and white, pen and ink, with occasional, dramatic use of gold. The lettering is exquisite in its own right. The pages are thick, glossy, and fragrant. The hard cover has an additional layer of illustration overlaid on semi-opaque paper. Photos cannot do it justice.


Image: Part of the two-layered cover
Profile Image for Lisa.
974 reviews3,328 followers
November 29, 2018
Purest magic! A fairy tale as classic as they get, with a twist as modern as can be.

Once upon a time there was a queen. She had a troubled childhood, and lived in the shadow of her abusive, narcissist stepmother. It is hard to break the spell of manipualtive, hurtful personalities. But magic works both ways. Learn to use it to grow, and there will be choices.

You can walk a new path. Reject the one chosen for you. You can say no to power and yes to self-determined life. All that is possible, in the magical world of Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.

The art and the words weave a web of imaginative power, an inspiration for those of us who are tired of princesses marrying to be forgotten. Queens take the road less travelled by. And that makes all the difference.

READ!
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 5 books13.5k followers
Read
January 12, 2022
“The path to her death, heartbeat by heartbeat, would be inevitable.”

description

A wonderful book with beautiful illustrations and a new perspective on our most beloved fairytales.
I'm not a big fan of Gaiman's writing, I guess. Would this be the same artist but a different author, say Laini Taylor or Catherynne M. Valente, this could have been as magical and wondrous as I had wished it.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Luce.
514 reviews36 followers
May 18, 2022
Edit, 2022: pals it’s been nearly EIGHT YEARS since I posted this review. I don’t care if you disagree. Good for you if you do, but I don’t need to hear about it. Any comments disagreeing with what I’ve said – or defending any of the choices made by anyone involved in publishing this book – will be deleted. Go have a cry about my opinion about a book no one even talks about anymore somewhere else, thanks ✌🏻 (Also I sincerely doubt this one review is going to affect NG in the slightest, so definitely don’t feel like you have to stand up for him. He won’t even see it. He’s got better things to do with his time than look at things posted on Goodreads almost a decade ago, and frankly so do I.)

Edit, 24 November 2019: You know what? I’m bumping this down to two stars because I’m still just as bitter and annoyed about it, five years later. And to everyone who claimed I’d imagined it being marketed as a LGBT retelling: here’s a link to the new edition published this year by Scholastic UK, WITH THE SNOW WHITE/SLEEPING BEAUTY KISS ON THE COVER. What the fuck do you call that, then, if not LGBT marketing? Take several seats, all of you 😒

In conclusion: fuck Neil Gaiman and his half-assed attempts at queer rep. Don’t even get me started on Good Omens, that was all Michael Sheen and you know it.


Original review, 21 October 2014:

The first thing you should know: this is NOT a lesbian retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I'm sure you've all seen the Chris Riddell illustration of Snow White kissing Sleeping Beauty awake by now, and will have seen this book lauded as LGBT representation. It is not.

Suffice to say, I was let down. I was expecting a properly queer retelling and that's not what I got. What I got was one sweet lady smooch and one (admittedly beautiful) illustration to accompany it...and that was all. Literally. Not true love's kiss. Not anything's kiss. The kiss was as impersonal as bringing a clockwork automaton back to life by winding its mechanism.

I waited to give this book a rating because if I'd rated it as soon as I finished it would have only got two or three stars - that's how annoyed I was with it. However, I am bumping it up to four because for starters, nothing Neil Gaiman writes is ever BAD, Chris Riddell's illustrations are beautiful as usual and the production quality of the book is flawless. It is a VERY attractive book and the story itself is whimsical and lovely and filled with lots of amusing side characters, like all good fairy tales. Finally, I'm giving it four stars because there is a truly EPIC twist that I would have absolutely loved if I hadn't been so thirsty for proper lesbian representation.

If the lack of proper queerness will not bother you, you will probably love this book. If you're looking for a book to be the answer to your lady-loving fairytale prayers, then this is not the book you're looking for. (And in that case, I recommend Ash by Malinda Lo, which is still not perfect but it's a damn sight better than this.)
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,406 reviews9,540 followers
January 27, 2016
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I got this book from the library but I can tell you it is going to be added to my bookshelves as I must have it. The story is so different and dark and good. The graphics are AMAZING!

Queen Snow White doesn't seem too happy in her current situation, she is to be wed and have babies and do this and do that....

 :

.....until one day, three of her dwarfs tell her about a land where everyone is asleep...

and the queen who is ready for some adventure, or so it seems, heads out to see what this nonsense is all about!

 :

Queen Snow and the dwarfs arrive at the castle and find (just like they said) everyone asleep. There seems to be one old lady there that is watching over the Sleeping Beauty. She has been there for many years while the beauty slept. Until along came Snow, who isn't a prince but a Queen, and wakes her up.

 :

We find out all is not as it seems as the Beauty wakes up. There is evilness afoot!! But alas, things are set to rights and the Queen and her dwarfs set out on their way... but the Queen is unsure of what she wants...

 :

and then the decision is made...

 :

 :

I must say once again that I LOVE THIS BOOK! And I am sooooo glad I got it from the library... to think I wasn't even going to bother.. OH when you think your not going to bother with something, that you might not like it or have the time...BOTHER WITH IT, trust me, you might find a little gem or a big gem depending on how you look at it. :-)

Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews234 followers
January 15, 2020
Let the prince stay at home; the princess, or in this case the queen, has it covered! Neil Gaiman’s story carries an overt feminist message, subverting traditional fairy tales. In “The Sleeper and the Spindle, the women take center stage, while the men exist on the periphery. Both the hero and villain are women, imbued with the power and agency to make their own decisions, whether good or bad.

This book is actually two stories: a sort of “Snow White” meets “Sleeping Beauty”, and it features Chris Riddell’s characteristically detailed illustrations -- always just the right side of grotesque, in black and white flecked with gold. If you think you know where this story is going (as I thought I did, early on) you will probably be mistaken. Gaiman gets a lot of meaningful mileage with deceptively simple twists.

“The Sleeper and the Spindle” is immensely satisfying. A seamless union of the two tales it takes its inspiration from… as sweet as it is subversive.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,109 reviews44.3k followers
January 13, 2017
Wow! This was so absolutely terrible! Why do you always polarise me Gaiman? Sometimes I love what you do and at other times I absolutely hate it. I just have no middle ground with you.

Gaiman subverted the standard fairy-tale so much that his ending, one that was clearly meant to be surprising, was so blatantly obvious to the point of actually being mundane. I called this one from the get go. Certainly, some of the changes he makes are, indeed, praiseworthy. We have a gallant hero, one ready to wake the sleeping beauty. So to spice things up a bit Gaiman makes the hero a woman. This was a good move, but nothing overly remarkable. It’s been done before, and will be done again. By reversing such things, the story that followed was easy to predict; it was just the opposite of what you’d normally expect to see. I yawned through the entire thing.

Now the artwork was undeniably wonderful, but this story doesn’t deserve it. . The plot is simple at best, and the final ending just doesn’t deliver what it needed to. It relies on its reversal so much. It was disappointing as a story, and not worthy of being in an edition like this by itself. It was weak, so weak. There’s no time for anything to develop, and the eventual villain that revealed itself was practically an overdone caricature. There’s so little to this. I actually have nothing else to say because there is not much else here to criticise. It's like the bear bones of a story. Gaiman can do so much better than this.
December 29, 2017


“Names. Names.
The old woman squinted, then she shook her head. She was herself, and the name she had been born with had been eaten by time and lack of use.”


Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In this story a strong queen goes on an adventure to save a kingdom and her sleeping princess.
It’s a combination of the Snow White and the sleeping beauty fairy tale in a beautiful new way.
It’s one of the most perfect children fairytales I have ever read 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The strong female main character, the queen, was brave and a perfect role model for young children.
This story didn’t need a hero, that was perfect on his white horse.
It only needed a good heart and bravery. ♥️

World ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Two separated kingdoms that are next to each other.
One with a queen nearly to be wed.
One with a sleeping princess and a curse that makes everyone fall into a deep sleep.

Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Neil Gaimans writing was, as always, absolutely brilliant.

Drawings ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The drawings were black and white, but had some details in a wonderful gold.
The pictures were really dark and had their own special touch.
It felt really magical itself and fitted the story perfectly.

P.S. I got this book from the library, but will buy it for myself (and for my future children) in German and English 👑♥️
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,179 reviews9,239 followers
October 2, 2018
Ideal Christmas present alert! However old your kids are, buy this for them. If they don’t like it, you might want to think seriously about disinheriting them, because it will show they have no heart, no eye for beauty and no sense of humour. And you don’t wanna empower people like that, really. They might be sociopaths.

Those with no kids - yeah, buy it for each other.

The art by Chris Riddell is so stunning, every other page is a gobsmacker, and it helps that the young (nameless) queen kind of looks a bit like Jessica Jones as played by Krysten Ritter






and the retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Neil Gaiman is wry and has dwarves.
Profile Image for PorshaJo.
442 reviews657 followers
October 22, 2016
A wonderful Neil Gaiman retelling....remashing....reimagining of a fairy tale. A gothic, creepy tale for sure. I listened to the audio and it was wonderful. A full cast of characters with music and various sounds. Fantastic. Though I must get the print to see the drawings that are part of the book.
Profile Image for Ana.
60 reviews289 followers
August 20, 2019
A fairytale made by twisting many other fairytales. A lot more creativity could be added to this story considering what Gaiman is actually capable of.
Reading this story sweetly reminded me of my childhood obsession with fairytales.
Profile Image for Swrp.
561 reviews108 followers
September 26, 2020
N-E-I-L G-A-I-M-A-N!!!

Always exciting, magical, fascinating and thrilling!

A 'combo' fairytale, with Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty, this book is a magnificent tale of three brave dwarves and a beautiful queen.
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews45.7k followers
May 30, 2018
this book has the most beautiful cover i have ever seen in my LIFE. and beautiful black-and-white illustrations. and it's a fairytale retelling. and it's by neil gaiman. and it's short.

i have loved books for all of those reasons alone. like, by neil gaiman? done. pretty? done. illustrated? done. short? done. fairytale-y? doooooone.

SO WHY DIDN'T I LOVE THIS ONE, WHICH HAD ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

it just didn't feel particularly any of those things, i guess. the writing was meh for neil gaiman. everything was confusing because it was so short. there were some moments of tension that were gone within a paragraph. not enough worldbuilding, or character-building, or anything -building. NOT ENOUGH ANYTHING, REALLY.

i guess that's what you get when a book is under 70 pages and, like, half illustrations?

still. seanan mcguire would never.

bottom line: this was a massive disappointment but i'm still going to gaze lovingly at the cover for the next 3-5 business days because ohmygodlookatit.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,854 reviews16.4k followers
January 29, 2020
Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell collaborated on this 2014 publication that is a re-telling or revisioning of a fairy tale.

Almost Sleeping Beauty and not quite Snow White this is all pretty cool. Gaiman’s ability to weave fairy tale and folklore with fun new twists is what keeps readers like me coming back to him.

A queen who is about to get married over her objections takes off to a neighboring kingdom who is in the grips of a strange sleeping spell. All standard Grimm and Disney with some new bells and whistles until Gaiman’s wickedly inventive talent takes the wheels off and we get something new and interesting.

Not epic or world-shaking, but a quietly enjoyable new story from Gaiman.

description
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 7 books32.9k followers
March 4, 2019
Quizá más un 3.5 pero no estoy muy seguro.

A ver, si fuera por la edición de Salamandra y las ilustraciones le ponía 20 sobre 5. Pero en esta novela/historia lo que cuenta es también, justamente, la historia.

Es la primera vez que leo algo de Neil Gaiman. Creo haber visto algo que él haya guionizado o participado a nivel audiovisual, pero no había leído nada. Y me ha gustado bastante. Tiene una manera de narrar muy interesante, porque aunque describe mucho, lo hace a la par que avanza la trama.

El giro que le da a las historias de Blancanieves y La Bella Durmiente son muy interesantes y me pillaron por sorpresa, pues no es hasta el final que entiendes lo que verdaderamente está pasando. Igualmente, se me hizo corto, y entiendo que es una historia corta, pero el final se me hizo muy repentino.

Recomiendo este libro a aquelles que busquen un nuevo enfoque a los clásicos a los que estamos acostumbrades, y a quien le gusten los libros ilustrados. Porque en serio, las ilustraciones son pura delicia.
Profile Image for Kristijan.
215 reviews66 followers
September 19, 2015
Pre svega moram da kažem da sam se oduešvio što je Laguna odlučila da objavi ovo u Srbiji. Nekako mi je delovalo kao previše rizičan korak i čak sam se plašio da će (da prostite na izrazu) zgovnati knjigu i da će ona izgubiti svoju draž. Na svu sreću, ono što imam u rukama je apsolutno WOW! Tehnički i grafički knjižica je odrađena fenomenalno.
Priča sama po sebi jeste poprilično dobra. Postoji onaj Gaimanovski "twist" koji mi svi jako volimo i odličan je crossover Uspavane lepotice i Snežane. Međutim, glavni i jedini problem ove knjižice je u tome što se Gaimanov tekst jednostavno gubi i postaje minoran u odnosu na Riddellove grafike (a malo je reći da su grafike fenomenalne).
Profile Image for Jadranka.
229 reviews128 followers
December 29, 2016
Poznati motivi iz bajki ispričani na malkice drugačiji način...neki bi rekli "Svetogrđe!", "Kako se samo usudio?!", a ja kažem, ako je neko mogao to da uradi na pravi način, onda je to Neil Gaiman.
A koliki je Gaiman mag za reči, toliki je Chris Riddell majstor za crtež.
Vidim da su mišljenja podeljena kada je reč o ovoj pričici, ali meni je posle napornih mesec dana na poslu došla kao melem na ranu.

Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,895 reviews10.5k followers
December 31, 2015
As a sleeping curse hits the kingdom, the queen postpones her wedding and sets off with three dwarves to free the sleeping princess and end the curse...

Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell team up yet again to present this short fairy tale, a dark combination of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

As dark fairy tales go, it had its moments. I loved the sleepers talking and eventually sleepwalking after the heroes. I've said it many times before but Gaiman's tales for kids are way creepier than the ones for adults. The art by Chris Riddell added to the tale and reminded me of old woodcuts at times.

I liked the ending quite a bit, not nearly as pat as I was expecting. However, at the end of the day, this was pretty average. It was a little too short and not as fleshed out as I would have liked. I guess I expected more from Neil Gaiman this time out. Three out of five stars.

Profile Image for Mario.
Author 1 book188 followers
September 12, 2015
There are choices, she thought, when she had sat long enough. There are always choices.


Since I've read The Graveyard Book I wanted to read more books by both Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell. So when I found out that they were translating this book in my country, I was beyond excited and my expectations for this book were pretty high. And now, that I've read it, I can safely say that this book was just as good as I expected it to be.

This was a retelling of Sleeping beauty and Snow White mixed together. I loved Gaiman's dark twist to the story but I've got to say that my favorite thing about this book were Riddell's illustrations. I think that I stared at every illustration for at least a minute. And as soon as I've finished the book, I wanted to read it again. I just really hope that these two will collaborate in the future many, many times.
Profile Image for Masooma.
69 reviews132 followers
December 30, 2015
3.5 magical stars

Enormous peaks of mountains separate the kingdoms of Dorimar and kanselaire. Kanelaire is rowdy as the wedding of their queen approaches. But Dormiar is silent as it mourns the spell that has put its princess to sleep.

“Up the blooming stairs and past the blooming cook and what are you cooking now, eh, great land-arse, nothing in your pots and pans but dust and more dust, and all you ever do is snore.”

There is one oncoming calamity, though, poking its head out its burrow, viz;

“It is expanding, the zone of the spell, a few miles every day”

It is now up to one kingdom to save another one and in doing so, save itself.

The lust for beauty, power and youth underlies this story and the concept of life threaded into a roll of yarn is unique. Comprehensively written with lucid descriptions, The Sleeper and the Spindle is a blend of Snow white and Sleeping Beauty with a few touches from Maleficient. It is a quick, beautiful read with an unpredictable villain.

“She’s still there. That’s what they say. If you get that close. If you make it through the roses, she’ll be waiting for you. She’s old as the hills, evil as a snake, all malevolence and magic and death.”
Profile Image for Flor ♡.
219 reviews56 followers
October 20, 2017
Hermoso cuento gótico y terrorífico, ideal para leer en halloween.!! 🎃

Es una mezcla de la bella durmiente, Blanca Nieves y The walking dead. 😂

A diferencia de los cuentos tradicionales, aquí no hay un caballero que salve a la princesa, sino que es la reina la que toma el mando y va al rescate de la bella durmiente. Al fin un cuento en el que las mujeres se muestran valientes e inteligentes.!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Tiene unas ilustraciones preciosas y un final inesperado que me gustó mucho .!!

“A la reina le había costado aprender a ser fuerte, a sentir sus propias emociones y no las de otra persona, pero quien aprende esa lección ya nunca la olvida.” ❤️
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