Award-winning author Sally Gardner teams up with David Roberts to put a new spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy-tale The Tinder Box in this dark and gripping tale.
Set during the Thirty Years War, this is the story of young soldier Otto Hundebiss who cheats Death on the battlefield, but soon finds himself on a new and dangerous path. A mysterious creature in the forest – half-man, half-beast - presents him with a pair of enchanted shoes and some dice, which soon lead him into a strange web of dark magic and mystery. Meeting the beautiful Safire, he falls immediately in love; but the scheming Mistress Jabber and the horrifying Lady of the Nail threaten to destroy them both. Otto must learn the power of the Tinderbox and the secret of the wolves he comes to master before he can gain his heart’s desire.
With its captive princesses, terrifying witches and mysterious creatures, this is a spellbinding tale: Gardner vividly reveals the darker side of the fairy-tale tradition in her beautifully-written story of love, loss and the powerful impact of war. Exquisitely presented and rich with wonderfully atmospheric illustrations from Roberts in black, white and occasional flashes of red, it is a real visual treasure trove. Sometimes gory, sometimes grim, this is a story that proves that fairy-tales do not always have happy endings.