#CBR7 Review #198: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

I’m alive! I’m also very behind on my reviews! Now that I’m *finally* caught up with all my grading, I can begin to buckle down and blog. I remember one of the veteran Cannonballers (maybe it was Malin?) saying that after completing a triple Cannonball, reading and reviewing books was a bit of a slog. I don’t feel that way about reading (because that’s one of my relaxers, and I seriously could never give up reading), but reviewing has been *really* difficult to keep up with. Thank goodness for my Goodreads account! I would never keep track otherwise.

But onto the review itself. Fantasy genius Neil Gaiman comes up with a new tale that is ostensibly for children but is just as (if not more) relevant for adult readers. The Sleeper and the Spindle follows a strange sleeping spell that infects a land and threatens its individuals with eternal sleep. It is rumored that a princess held captive to the spell holds the key to curing the land. The queen of the land is about to get married, but she puts off her wedding and follows a band of loyal dwarves to find this princess. But all is not as it seems. This tale, illustrated by Chris Riddell, holds shades of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and other touches that are purely Gaiman—imagination and horror merging in a story that transcends and subverts traditional norms.

While I don’t know that I would let a very young child read this book, I was delighted by the homages to fairy tale stories and the new life that Gaiman gave this one. The queen is a character I would want young girls to admire—and I really want there to be other stories about her. So, here’s hoping that Gaiman writes more from her world!


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