May 10, 2012

The Dream Hunters

The Sandman
by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell

Set in ancient Japan, this is the story of a shape-shifter fox and a young monk who fall in love. The fox at first has a bet with a badger to see who can drive the monk from his temple and take it for their own home. They both fail, but during the process the fox (after taking the form of a woman) unexpectedly falls in love with the monk. She overhears some demons in the forest plotting to take the monk's life, and has to use all her fox wits to save him if she can. It was such a wonderful, intriguing story. Each turn of the plot had me sitting up all alert and fascinated again. The artwork is superb (there must be a few versions of this novella, because I found the same book with different artists as you see in links below).

I am not familiar with the Sandman universe at all, so I wasn't sure until I looked it up how this one fit into the rest of the series. Turns out it's kind of a stand-alone story, published after the main Sandman series was finished. I enjoyed it a lot. The character of Sandman has a small appearance here, when the monk visits dreamland, and I was intrigued to find there was also a master dream-fox that the fox-woman visited for counsel. I also found curious the idea that dreamland was somehow equated with the land of death.... I'm eager now to read all the Sandman graphic novels in order, at least as far as my library has them (sometimes I woefully discover they only have part of a series, or are missing a few books in the middle... )

Rating: 4/5 ........144 pages, 2011

more opinions:
Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
My Honor is Called Loyalty!
Page 247


bermudaonion said...

Gaiman is hit or miss for me, but your review has piqued my interest for this one.

Jeane said...

It's really good, I think. A story (and illustrations!)not to be missed.