Cinnamon

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review

Blind Princess Cinnamon does not talk. The Rajah and the Rani offer great rewards to anyone who can get Cinnamon to say something, but after many learned visitors try, a talking, man-eating tiger arrives at the castle.

Alone with the Princess, the tiger – 'a nightmare in black and orange who moved like a god through the world' – shows Cinnamon pain, by sticking a claw into her hand, and fear, by roaring its terrible roar. However, he also shows her love by licking her face with his rough, red tongue, which is what makes Cinnamon utter her first word.

A very special, haunting and mythical tale with lush, vibrant images, this new Neil Gaiman fable illustrated by Divya Srinivasan is as typically unusual and compelling as you would expect. Like traditional fairy tales, there’s a sense of shadow that lurks under the story of the tiger and the princess, but the moral of the story – about being free to be yourself – is an enduring one.

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