Neil Gaimen · Stand Alone · Young Adult

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman


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 ( 


sleeperOkay, so I have been wanting to read this for awhile and after waiting forever for my library to get it, it finally arrived today! Yippee!

First of all, I have to comment on how beautiful the book is! It’s absolutely gorgeous and a model for how all fairy-tale (or illustrated books in general) should look. The black and white illustrations are detailed, pretty, and complement the story perfectly! I love them! Even the cover of the book is beautiful!

Anyway, on to the story!


I am always looking for good, interesting fairy-tale retellings and this was one of them. The warrior queen (no names in this book) hears from three dwarves that a sleeping sickness is spreading across the neighboring kingdom and it wont take long to reach hers. In the center of this sickness is a princess who has been put to sleep for the last hundred years or so and if she is woken the curse should be lifted. However, countless knights and princes have attempted to reach her, but are caught up in the forest of roses which surround the castle.

The queen takes it upon herself to save the princess from her eternal sleep and travels with her dwarf companions to the castle. They are met with many obstacles along the way including zombie-like sleepwalking people (creepy as hell and awesome!), hallucinations, and drowsiness as they come closer and closer to the castle. While reading you can definitely tell this is written by Neil Gaiman!

Once they reach the castle it isn’t what they expected. The twist in the story was so unexpected! (and something you have to read yourself)

I love how Gaiman combined the fairy-tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White to create something different and incredibly entertaining!  It was great to have a strong female character take the lead and accomplish the task instead of the usual prince coming to the rescue. Having Snow White kiss the princess was unusual, but that’s just Gaiman.

Overall Thoughts

This is a must read for anyone who loves Neil Gaiman or fairy-tale retellings! You will love it, Seriously! It is a bit creepy so young adults and older would enjoy it the most! I am most certainly going to have to add this to my book collection! 🙂 Too bad it wasn’t longer…

My Rating: 5/5 Stars!

View this book on Amazon and Goodreads!

Check out these other reviews of this book from fellow bloggers!

The Bibliomanic 

Rivers I Have Known (contains pictures of illustrations from the book)

Chased By My Imagination

Navigating the Stormy Shelves

Hit or Miss Books


*photo provided by


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