Sandman: Fables and Reflections (Volume Six)

Sandman: Fables and Reflections (Volume Six)

Neil Gaiman

Margo requested I review each issue–and because I love and adore her, I will review each issue.  I will warn you that since I am reviewing individual chapters, I may give away some details–proceed with caution if you fear spoilers.

Fear of Falling – The art of this issue was very different from most of the art in the previous issues.  For some reason, it really bothered me (I think I just have trouble with change).  It was an interesting opening to the volume, and when I went back to it in order to write down the titles of the issues, I looked more kindly upon the artwork.  Mostly, I just think Dream looks adorable any way he’s drawn.  The ending message was a comforting one, and I think college students should be given this volume (especially for this issue and a few that follow) so they aren’t afraid to climb.

Three Septembers and a January – Oh the power of Dream.  I really enjoyed this issue!  I thought it gave a sort of human quality to the siblings, and also showed us a bit of the kinds of relationships between Dream and his brothers and sisters (and brother/sister).  Also, I think one of the best moments in the entire world was when Death shows up at the end and asks to wear the Emperor’s hat.  She’s so cool.  I wish I could be her friend.

Thermidor – This issues made me really excited because we got to learn about Orpheus and his relationship with his father.  My only complaint about it was that there were several points when the font was different–it was a diary entry, so it went from print to script.  Since I was reading it while walking at the gym, I had a super hard time reading the print.  It was frustrating.  Even after I stopped moving, I found the font too small to read easily.

The Hunt – This was my favorite issue out of the whole volume.  I loved the grandfather’s story, and I adored the way it was told.   I liked that it was never specifically stated that the young man in the story was a werewolf.  When I figured it out, I actually went back and read the whole story again.  I loved this one.  Oh, and Lucien is the coolest librarian in the world.  His relationship with Dream is adorable.  I’d love to visit him and just touch some of the books in his library.  He has the best job ever.

August – Here’s another month issue.  There were a lot of those in this volume.  I wonder if I missed something important in the titles of the chapters?  In any case, I thought this issue was tolerable up until the end when Dream enters.  Then it started to get a bit more interesting.  I liked the way this issue painted the Emperor of Rome as a human man with burdens and troubles of his own, but when compared to the other issues, I thought it was boring.

Soft Places – This issue made me kind of feel dumb, haha.  I figured out Marco Polo pretty quickly, but I had no idea who the other two guests were.  I had to look up our Italian romance writer as soon as they gave away his name (which I forgot already) because I wanted to know who he was.  However, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who the last man was.  I ended up thinking it was Teddy Roosevelt, which I realized was wrong when he mentioned the late 20th century.  Finally, I gave up and looked him up as well and nearly cried when I saw I had forgotten Gilbert!  Oh awesome, green, Gilbert.  Forgive me for not recognizing you immediately.  In any case, I liked the sort of time-travel-like feel this issue had.  And I could tell the characters liked it as well, since they all seemed excited to get to meet Marco Polo.  The ending also looped back to the first and second (and third?) issue, which I thought was a very nice touch.  As I stated before, it feeds into my pride at recalling previous details.

Orpheus – I was hoping to see Orpheus again, and my wish came true!  Here we get to see the familiar story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as more of my favorite bunch of siblings.  Even better–we finally see the missing sibling!  He looks rather fluffy.  I couldn’t quite figure out his name–though I knew it would start with a “D.”  I ended up looking that up as well.  The ending of this issue was quite sad because I already knew how the myth ended, and having read the issue set in the time of the French Revolution, I knew how the relationship between Dream and Orpheus would end.  The best part though, was when I flipped the page and saw a whole bunch of naked women ripping Orpheus apart.  As did everyone around me.  Especially the older woman to my right, who made a noise at the pictures.  Whoops.  Smooth move Dionysus.  You’re causing trouble even now.  Second best part?  When we get to see Death’s house.  Goldfish and teddy!

The Parliament of Rooks – Is it really called a parliament of rooks?  I looked that up (yes, I spent more time on google than I did between the covers of this volume) and it said something different.  Can someone find out?  I am confused and would very much adore for it to be a parliament.  Is it acceptable for me to just claim ignorance and call it that anyway?  Anyhoozle, this issue was my second favorite.  I guess I just really love storytelling?  I thought Eve’s story was perfectly done, and Abel–little Dream and little Death were the cutest things I have ever seen!  I am going to find a way to hang them on my wall.  So cute!  Of course Daniel and Goldie were completely precious as well.  This issue was just a bundle of aww (ignoring the part when Abel gets up close and personal with the fireplace, of course).  And Matthew!  I love Matthew.  I don’t think living as a raven in Dream’s realm would be such a horrible thing in place of death.  I’m going to look  into it.

Ramadan – Finally, the last story.  My beef with this issue also has to do with the font.  I read half of it on the treadmill and half of it sitting down.  I had just as much trouble reading while walking as I did sitting still.  Also, this volume was very text-heavy, so I feel like they should have found a bigger/clearer text.  However, I will say that the face Dream makes when King Haroun offers him Baghdad made up for the fact that it took me a hour to read through the whole story.  I think it’s his eyes and his hair.  Dream just has the coolest eyes and hair.  So sexy.  Oh, but back to the story–I especially liked the ending and how it wrapped the volume up.  While it annoyed me that each issue was a separate, seemingly unrelated (though a lot of information about Dream and his family were revealed) story, I liked them.  I look forward to reading the next one.

My rating: 4/5

One thought on “Sandman: Fables and Reflections (Volume Six)”

  1. yay! I love you too!
    Three Septembers and a January is my fav in this collection (mostly because of the scene you mention with Death and the hat. Death is the best.)
    BUT. August is one of the issues of Sandman that I still, to this day, am not sure I completely understand, but what I do understand of it is very important to the overall story arc.
    Neil has said he made up the “parliament” of rooks, but encourages people to use it anyway, if they like.
    Little Death and Little Dream are available somewhere as…a poster, maybe? or statutes?
    And the art in Ramadan, surely you agree, is friggin amazing, though I agree about the text being hard to read. Also love the story sooo much, there’s some weird shit going on there. Neil Gaiman is crazy in the best way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *