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The Kindly Ones

(The Sandman #9)

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  46,906 ratings  ·  1,583 reviews
The Penultimate volume to the phenomenal Sandman series: distraught by the kidnapping and presumed death of her son, and believing Morpheus to be responsible, Lyta Hall calls the ancient wrath of the Furies down upon him. A former superheroine blames Morpheus for the death of her child and summons an ancient curse of vengeance against the Lord of Dream. The "kindly ones" e ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 6th 1999 by Vertigo (first published 1995)
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Vikash Ravi It's technically possible to read as a standalone but a lot of the value in what this volume accomplishes is based largely on all of the characters, a…moreIt's technically possible to read as a standalone but a lot of the value in what this volume accomplishes is based largely on all of the characters, arcs, and themes introduced throughout the series. I imagine it has quite a bit of value on its' own but it truly shines with the context of the comics leading up to this volume, more than any of the other Sandman arcs, arguably(less)

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Average rating 4.59  · 
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Start your review of The Kindly Ones (The Sandman, #9)
Superbly written but too long for what the story is about

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Marc Hempel, Richard Case, D’Israeli, Glyn Dillon, Teddy Kristiansen, Charles Vess, Dean Ormston & Kevin Nowlan

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


We do what we do because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.

Before of anything, I want to comment that it was very nice to find that The Kindly Ones TPB price remained in $19.99, the same as o
Sean Barrs
"A culture that doesn’t value its librarians doesn’t value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?"

The more I read of Gaiman’s work the more I realise just how well-read he is. He clearly has read a huge number of books and has strong understanding of them. The number of literary allusions in his work is phenomenal.

This is clearly the key to his brilliance. He knows how stories work. I would go as far as to say, he is a reader before he is a writer. He is always defending books, libra
Aug 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
You get your money's worth out of this one.
Issues 57–69!


So. It was a tad longish to say the very least. But in a somewhat understandable way.
Sandman was/is wildly popular and it's pointless to rush the ending.


I do feel a bit let down by the lack of anything coming to a head with Desire. There seemed (to me) to be something brewing between the siblings through all of these volumes. And I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but all the hinting around that Desire was a nemesis of epic prop
Bill Kerwin

I remember reading somewhere that Bleak House is one of Neil Gaiman’s favorite novels, and The Kindly Ones, the penultimate volume of The Sandman, reminded me a great deal of Bleak House. Like the typical Dickens novel, The Sandman series contains a multitude of characters and plot threads, and The Kindly Ones is the volume which, gathering these characters and threads together, brings them to climax (though not to conclusion, a matter reserved for the next volume, The Wake.) It is precisely thi
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Kindly Ones was the longest and most dark of the collection so far!

The Kindly Ones are The Furies. Three goddesses of vengeance and judgement.
Typically they are represented as the maiden, the mother and the old woman.

They punish men for crimes such as homicide, offenses against other Gods, and oaths not full-filled.

And The Furies are after Morpheus.

Knowing this plot theme while reading this addition will help with the overall flow.
The series revisits characters from earlier volumes and there
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

The most ambitious of all Sandman albums, the highpoint of the series, the convergence of all the random plot threads and part time characters into a spectacular denouement. The tragic nature of the story doesn't come as a surprise: the seeds were planted right from the start, with Morpheus imprisoned in a country manor in England in Preludes and Nocturnes and reflecting on his past mistakes and ways to redeem them. Every subsequent volume added to the morbid and apparently inevitable conflict
Sean Gibson
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess it’s like Sammy Hagar sang (nay, emoted) in a criminally underrated deep cut* off the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album: dream another dream—this dream is over.

Sandman has never shied away from going into dark places; reading it is often akin to that time when you were a kid and were forced to go down into your grandmother’s unfinished basement to fetch a jar of homemade jam. Logically, you knew nothing bad would happen, but it was still terrifying to open the dingy door at the top of
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
Gaiman masterfully brings in characters from throughout the run of the book so far, juggling them handsomely. But the story goes on too long, especially for the amount of things that actually occur. I remember the book at this time being consistently late. That was probably the reason for the two issues of fill in art that are something of asides to the main story. Marc Hempel's contemporary art style didn't bother me nearly as much this time around as when I read this in single issues as it was ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A December 2020 reread, the penultimate book, and one of the great volumes of one of the greatest comics series of all time.

Original review, 12/7/14, revised a bit every time I read it: At more than 200 pages, this is the longest of the ten volume epic series, and pulls out all the stops to complete the story. I waited to write this review until after I finished the tenth and last volume, "The Wake," which I liked even better! This volume is about the variously named Furies, The Dirae, The Eriny
Johann (jobis89)
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Got quite emotional towards the end, but also felt a little confused at times... I think a complete reread is required in future!!
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There's but three Furies found in spacious hell
But in a great man's breast three thousand dwell.

Oomph. What a volume!

At the end of the 8th volume we saw the funeral of an Endless and rightfully guessed that it was Morpheus'. Still, I believed there would be a way out for him. Apparently, so did he. I guess we were both wrong.
Because the titular Kindly Ones, also known as the The Furies - often seen as the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone - have a bone to pick with the Dream Lord for somethin
Re-read 9/3/20:

It's really hard to read this again without breaking into tears.

Everything that came before came home to roost.

There is nothing out of place. Anything that seemed odd or solitary or inconsequential from before has now just reared its head and has jump-scared me. Again.

This is no mild feat.

Original Review:

This one is probably the one that I love the most, but not because of the quick pace, the literary references, the art, or the final act. Or maybe it's because (or not because) of
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've rated both this and The Sandman Vol. 7 Brief Lives 5 stars, but I think I liked Brief Lives better, for the sole reason that it contained more scenes with Delerium. Here, Delerium is searching for someone again, this time her talking dog Barnabas, and the scene where they're reunited was charming as all get out.

Practically every other character we've met along the way shows up in the Kindly Ones, and it was just more proof that Gaiman is the master of making everything he writes have a purp
Caro the Helmet Lady
I want to learn how to draw a pentagram, into which I will catch Neil Gaiman to make ask him to tell me bedtime stories every night.
Z. F.

I thought coming back to Sandman after a seven-month break would restore my waning interest, but nah, I just can't get the old excitement back. I'll read the last collection for completion's sake, but I won't be sad when it's done.

I've stuck with these books so long because in conception this series is really incredible: the blending of fantasy and mythology and history is super cool, and Gaiman of course knows this stuff like no one else. But in a story sense Sandman just so rarely comes togeth
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collected-comics
This is the penultimate arc in Neil Gaiman’s original Sandman run. The seeds for Dream’s ultimate fate has been foreshadowed in previous storylines, with its seeds reaching fruition here. The actual machinations for his demise are contained in this story as we see characters with a vendetta against Morpheus working towards his downfall. This is the longest arc in the title, with the appropriately thickest trade paperback, taking over a year to complete it. I thought that this was a bargain when ...more
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Best Sandman volume so far. Sadly illustrations are worst in series and this is series that has pretty bad illustrations overall.
6 stars!!!

Now, you are probably looking at the title of the ninth volume of Neil Gaiman’s fantastic “Sandman” series, which is called “The Kindly Ones” and you are probably thinking to yourself about how this volume will be all sunshine and roses. Definitely not! Do not let the innocent title of this volume fool you! The ninth volume “The Kindly Ones” is probably the darkest volume out of all the “Sandman” series since “A Game of You” and yet this is probably the best volume out of the entir
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This is my lowest rating of the entire Sandman series thus far, and the main and only reason for this is that I absolutely hated the artwork in this volume. It was childish and very cartoon-ish and it prevented me from enjoying the story.

The story itself was quite good, well great in fact, although I feel that its length could have been curtailed somewhat. Rose Walker's story-line in particular felt forced, especially since it distracted from the main arc of the Kindly Ones hunting down dream.
Paul Nelson
The Kindly Ones is quite simply the best graphic novel I have read, the bar is raised for a series that was already at the top limit of the vault. A true masterpiece that deserves 6 out of 5 stars, I read it twice which I have only ever done with the Lord of the Rings trilogy and that in itself says a great deal.
The thirteen episodes of this volume feature many characters that we have met in the series so far and significantly add to the excitement that builds almost page by page.

Lyta Hall leave
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just about all the disparate plot lines and characters come together in this volume, even several that originally appeared to be random. In only this aspect (speaking of "aspect," the facet of a gemstone is my favorite image in this book), I was reminded of how while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I was so amazed at how everything came together that immediately afterward I reread all the HP books just to see how Rowling did it.

As this is volume 9, it seems appropriate that there a
He took everything that came before and wove them together into this one story. He brings basically all the mythology of the world together in these books. Genius, it's the only word to describe it. This book was worth reading the whole series. ...more
Himanshu Karmacharya
The Kindly Ones is a long volume, but the sheer amount of emotion and epicness packed within it makes it worth it.

Marc Hempel has a simple but unique artstyle which is aesthetically pleasing. Combine it with Neil Gaiman's amazing writing, and we've got ourselves a piece of art that will be remembered for a very long time.
Sep 09, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I was a little intimidated by this initially because it's the longest book in the series... by a lot. However once I got started it was clear I was going to breeze through it because it was amazeballs from page 1!! This was hands down the best book in the series so far.

I feel like this goes without saying but Morpheus is one of the best characters ever created! I love him more and more as time goes on. Book 10 here I come!
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a tenth volume to conclude the main Sandman series, but I consider it an epilogue, while this ninth and longest volume is the ambitious climax, the inevitable culmination of every story arc that went before—(most) loose ends are gathered up, knots are untangled, threads are cut, consequences are faced.

"Can't say I've ever been too fond of beginnings, myself. Messy little things. Give me a good ending anytime. You know where you are with an ending."

In the preceding volumes, we've met
Sandman, Vol 9: The Kindly Ones: The climax we all saw coming

If you are reading this review, I’ll assume you’ve read and liked the previous eight volumes. If you haven’t read them, I suggest you start with Volume 1 and go from there. Otherwise, this review will be full of spoilers and I don’t want the Furies or Corinthian to visit me in my dreams in retribution.

The entire series shifts between collections of short stories and single longer narratives, and some of my favorite Sandman stories hav
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Man this book was frustrating as hell. It kept doing this thing where it would start building towards something, really drawing me in having me really interested and then end that part of the story leaving me confused, like wait, what? It did this three times I believe with the final time being the end of the book. One thing that was consistent was the artwork. But the story? Kept leaving me lost more times than I liked. As I’m almost at the end of this box set, I’m beginning to see that Sandman ...more
The Lion's Share
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Billie Tyrell
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You could probably say that this is the "epic final battle of Lord Morpheus" etc. It's about 11 issues long and features lots of returning characters, but it's actually quite small scale and personal. This is definitely The Sandman being incredibly comfortable in it's own style of story telling, some of the early stories would involve catastrophes in which the whole universe would explode (Dolls House), but this is a tragedy based in misunderstandings, or there's even a hint that the Sandman may ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: combine books 2 13 Dec 14, 2018 01:48AM  

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Other books in the series

The Sandman (10 books)
  • Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)
  • The Doll's House (The Sandman, #2)
  • Dream Country (The Sandman, #3)
  • Season of Mists (The Sandman, #4)
  • A Game of You (The Sandman, #5)
  • Fables & Reflections (The Sandman, #6)
  • Brief Lives (The Sandman, #7)
  • Worlds' End (The Sandman, #8)
  • The Wake (The Sandman, #10)

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