Rating: 5 Stars
Published: (In the U.S.) September 2015; first appeared in Rag & Bones pub. 2013
Genre: YA // Fantasy // Fairy Tale Retelling
“There are choices, she thought., when she had sat long enough. There are always choices.“
This is a gorgeous retelling of Sleeping Beauty & Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s unexpected. Beautiful. Empowering. Adventurous. Pro-women.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book because it’s short and I think it deserves a read and some discussion. However, I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m just going to give some general thoughts.
I totally saw part of it coming. But I like to believe that’s because I’m starting to think more like a writer since I consume so much media/books. Side note: I’ve been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy with my mom. We’re almost caught up to season 12 and I totally just called almost the whole episode. I like to think I’m just inside Shonda’s head.
“She called for her fiance and told him not to take on so, and that they would still be married, even if he was but a prince and she a queen, and she chucked him beneath his pretty chin and kissed him until he smiled.
She called for her mail shirt.
She called for her sword.
She called for provisions, and for her horse, and then she rode out of the palace, towards the east.”
“The queen had a name, but nowadays people only ever called her Your Majesty. Names are in short supply in this telling.”
It’s true. But names are not needed, either. There’s a simplicity in this story that is quite lovely. But at the same time, there’s vivid detail and I felt like I was there. This story was a bit emotional for me, in the best way of course. The artwork was gorgeous. It’s illustrated in black & white with accents of gold. It brings the story to life. More stories should have illustrations.
The characters were great. I loved seeing such a strong Snow White character. I loved the Sleeping Beauty aspect, too. I think it’s great how Gaiman really made it his own story. It has elements of the original tale but a spin that is so delightful.
The book itself is lovely as well. The dust jacket is made of vellum and is what has the gold thorns & black flowers on it. The cover of the book has the illustration in black & white printed right on it.
I’m not really sure why this is marketed as YA in the States. It should just be in Fantasy. But whatever, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Neil Gaiman fans will find it no matter what.
There’s not much else I can say about this without spoiling it. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and find/buy/read it. Now. Please.
Are you a Neil Gaiman fan? Do you love fairy tale retellings, too? Have you read this yet? What are your thoughts?