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.
To start, I was led to believe this would be a story with heavy LGBTQIA themes. It wasn’t, really. Aside from one kiss, the only real mention of sexuality was related to an impending heterosexual marriage. So I felt a little misled on that front.
This was an odd little story, clearly set out to be similar in style to fairytale picture books aimed at children. It weaved the tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White together. Snow White is now a queen about to marry when she learns of a sleeping curse spreading through the neighbouring kingdom. With a knowledge of magic and a resistance to the sleeping curse due to having been in an enchanted sleep herself once, she sets off with her dwarf friends to save their neighbours.
The illustrations were pretty cool and delightfully creepy, but were not strictly necessary to the story. They served as more of a distraction than an augmentation. The story was a little thin, but the twist at the end was interesting.
I don’t have many thoughts on this story, probably due to it being quite insubstantial. It was an okay read and I’m glad it wasn’t too drawn-out, but I also would’ve preferred spending my time doing something else.