This is a beautifully reinvented fairy tale with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty being weaved together and altered to create a story of dark magic, adventure and female heroism. This book is not only fantastically enjoyable to read but also visually stunning, but this is no surprise as it comes from the joint efforts of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell. Gaiman and Riddell have previously worked together on the Carnegie Winning novel The Graveyard Book (among others) which was also shortlisted for the Greenaway prize for Illustration in 2010.
This is the story of a Queen who instead of sending someone else to do the rescuing, sets off on a quest to save her kingdom the night before her wedding. With three dwarfs in tow she sets off to discover the truth behind a mysterious sleeping curse which is slowly spreading across the land and what she finds is not what you’d expect.
Sometimes it is the case that teenagers and adults can be put off by books which include illustrations but the illustrations in this are so vivid that they really help to build a much bigger picture of the world the story is based in and add so much to the overall reading experience. The illustrations are black and white with metallic gold accents added which seem to fit with the story perfectly.
I would recommend this to older children and teenagers who enjoy shorter stories and like alternative fairy tales with beautiful illustrations.