The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

I’d been meaning to read this for a while, but since we are interested in the Best Quests this month: time for some Neil Gaiman.

Initially I didn’t like this book, because I misunderstood its audience. I thought it was a weak version of Angela Carter, with none of the viscous bite I was expecting. It is not, though, it is a children’s book which I’d been misled about. I’d first heard of it in a review on Mary Sue or somewhere which was all “ra-ra lesbain inclusionsm!” and that’s absolutely a misreading of the text.

A sort-of Snow White saves a sort-of Sleeping Beauty in a book where the moral might well be “Just kill your enemies already, you fool.” I’m not sure that’s what the moral was meant to be, but for me the moral clearly was “Save yourself.” or “Killing your enemies as soon as possible is an excellent idea.”.

Have you read it? Is my understanding of the moral way off centre? Tell me in the comments!