This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with some Snow White mixed in. Since I read it on my Kindle, I didn’t realize before I started that this is actually a sort of graphic novel, or maybe an illustrated short story? I’m not sure what it looks like in actual book form. I had just assumed it was a regular novel, but it’s not even 75 pages long.
The Sleeper and the Spindle is the story of a queen, who sets out with three dwarf companions, to find a famous enchanted sleeping princess and try to wake her and break the spell. It’s typical Gaiman in that it’s witty and turns the original fairy tales on their heads. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but I was underwhelmed. It’s short, so there’s not much room for anything other than plot–the queen and dwarves set off through the mountain, fight their way into the sleeping princess’s castle, and magick her awake. The charm lies in the subtle subversion Gaiman brings to the standard ending of a fairy tale.
In the end, this was okay. I liked the creepiness and the twists Gaiman brought to this, but there’s not much to it. Also, I seem to be the only person on Goodreads who feels this way, but I didn’t like the illustrations. I found it hard to tell what I was looking at with some of them (again, this could be because I read it on a Kindle). If you want to read this, read the real thing instead of an electronic version.