Audiobook Review | The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

A Too-Short Twisted Tale

POSTED ON February 5, 2019 BY Austine IN Book Review

Audiobook Review | The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
The Sleeper and the Spindle
by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Published on October 23, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 72
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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.

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Mini Review

Knight's Judgment
Writing Style

Packed with gorgeous illustrations as if a picture book and graphic novel crossed paths, The Sleeper and the Spindle is a VERY quick read with enough story to pack a punch and leave you wanting more. 

This tale twists the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, and gives them a whole new look, featuring new characters and plenty of adventuring. Though I also have the hardcover edition (which I highly recommend checking out), I chose to listen to this one on audio and have to say it’s well written for a narrator. 

The story itself was good. . . but it never quite felt complete. At times there was more detail than I felt was needed to convey what was happening. But most of the time there were too few details and the story seemed incomplete. I certainly wouldn’t have minded seeing it expanded on further as the foundation for interesting characters (and an interesting twisting tale to go with it) were there.

As it is, The Sleeper and the Spindle felt like listening to a fairy tale where some of the story elements just aren’t there and you’re expected to accept that.

But I loved the twist on the original tales. A queen setting out to rescue a princess, except maybe it’s not the princess she should be saving? I NEED a longer book! The set-up was perfect!

If this book piqued your interest, I recommend the audio for sure (though having a physical copy alongside it is great for all the illustrations). Though beware, you may want more to the story than it can offer!

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