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Tinder [Kindle Edition]

Sally Gardner , David Roberts
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

Otto Hundebiss is tired of war, but when he defies Death he walks a dangerous path. A half beast half man gives him shoes and dice which will lead him deep into a web of dark magic and mystery. He meets the beautiful Safire - pure of heart and spirit, the scheming Mistress Jabber and the terrifying Lady of the Nail. He learns the powers of the tinderbox and the wolves whose master he becomes. But will all the riches in the world bring him the thing he most desires?

Fairy tales are often the cruellest stories of all; in this exquisite novel Sally Gardner writes about great love and great loss.

Product Description


A powerful blend of timeslip fantasy, science fiction and coming of age novel, its central theme is memory and the part it plays in constructing who we are. (The School Librarian)

Sally Gardner has achieved yet another masterpiece, crafting an amazing story world on paper. (GUARDIAN ONLINE)

a complex story with constantly changing plots. Some emotionally challenging, but, when all the connections are made, the reader is taken on an exciting, and fulfilling, journey. (CAROUSEL)

Tinder explores addiction, passion, greed, love & psychological injuries of war. It is another jewel in Gardner's crown

(The Times)

Gardner follows up her Costa-Carnegie double with an exquisite reworking of The Tinderbox fairytale, as dark and captivating as you would hope.

(The Bookseller)

The Carnegie Medal-winning author has produced another astonishing tour de force and one that could not be more different from the dystopian Maggot Moon and yet is almost certainly bound for similar glory.

(Reading Zone)

David Roberts' elegant illustrations are integral to the beautiful design - almost every page is embellished. A volume to treasure and reread. (Financial Times)

This luminously written story re-introduces all the erotic and macabre features of traditional fairy rich and rewarding writing. (Books For Keeps)

Tinder is, as ever, with Ms Gardner's books, beautifully written, moving and engrossing, and for lovers of the dark and doom-ridden, it is well worth reading. (The Bookbag)

...Rich and rewarding writing, reminding readers never to take any fairy tales, ancient or modern, simple for granted. (Books for Keeps)

Boys and girls will find something to love in its pages; all will be transfixed by its ancient charm. (

Expect more award nominations for this. (Haverhill Echo, Newmarket Journal & Suffolk Free Press)

Tinder is just a whoosh of magic, beauty, and cruel, confident storytelling (Domestic Sluttery)

Gardner's narrative is fast-paced and gripping, but most of all it manages to mix in witches, wolves and black magic, all the while being though provoking. (Stylist)

She [Gardner] has noted and exploited, ingeniously and powerfully, the connection between The Tinderbox and the story of Prometheus, and this mythic underpinning gives her pell-mell fantasy both coherence and a satisfying richness... It's a beauty. (The Guardian)

Sally has really worked magic on this old story, and it is fascinating and exciting, as well as creepy. You can barely put it down. (Bookwitch Blog)

Her use of language is intensely visual as she evokes her sumptuous and macabre scenarios... Ultimately we are in the hands of a consummate storyteller. (Inis Magazine)

Gardner's language is as simple and clear as a forest spring. Delicate images ('a moth's meal of a cloak') meet big coarse ones ('a spit-roasted sort of face') to create a tapestried, intricate landscape, full of mystery, grief, terror and seduction. (Metro)

...The truly breathtaking publication of this season is Sally Gardner's Tinder, a book that is both a dark, haunting fairytale with werewolves and treasures, but also a horrifying exploration of war and its impact on young men. (The Herald)

Tinder retells Hans Christian Andersen's The Tinderbox as a dark dream- an exploration of memory, grief, fear, lust and love. Gardner's delicate, eerie rendering lends it a new grace...

an extraordinary piece of older teen fiction, full of menace, excitement and beauty. This is one book that cannot be recommended highly enough (John Millen Young Post, China)

Written primarily for young adults, the beautifully crafted narrative is one of those rare, haunting pieces of fiction that, as soon as you finish, you want to return to and read it again ....... It's a love story, a tale of epic courage and endurance, a fairy tale with sorcery and secrets, and a ghost story. But at its hearts Tinder is about the true cost of war, the terrible damage it inflicts and the high personal price paid by those caught in its jaws. (Eve Seymour Cheltenham Standard)

Book Description

A young soldier, a captive princess, witches, wolves and Death walk hand in hand in COSTA AWARD winner Sally Gardner's exquisitely written novel inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, THE TINDERBOX, illustrated by David Roberts. Now in paperback for the first time.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 95502 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780621493
  • Publisher: Orion Children's Books (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F519Q4U
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #306,441 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tinder 10 Nov. 2013
Sally Gardner is one of those authors whose books I long for. I'm always excited when I hear that a new book written by her is being published and I'm always extremely eager to get my hands on it. With 'Tinder', Gardner has written a spellbinding story based around Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale 'The Tinderbox'. I actually have a really old book on my shelves which is the complete collection of tales by Anderson and which has been passed down through my family. One of the most well thumbed sections of the book is this exact fairy tale which has always been one of my favourites. I always loved the image of the dogs with eyes as big as saucers and the magical tinderbox which has the ability to grace the recipient with whatever his heart desires.

There are elements of the traditional version of the story here, but Gardner has also reinterpreted it in her own unique way. It is now set at the time of The Thirty Years war when soldier Otto Hundebiss is given a pair of shoes and a set of dice. These innocuous objects are set to change his future destiny as he embarks on a strange and mysterious new journey where he will have to face love and death and confront his own personal nightmares.

I thought 'Tinder' was wonderful. It's quirky and unusual and quite dark in places but it drew me in and kept me enthralled until the very end. It shows that fairy tales don't always have happy endings and that conflict, love and loss are faced by people in every walk of life.

I read a proof copy of the book but the final finished version features over 100 black and white images by illustrator David Roberts which accompany the text of the story. If you love Sally Gardner and have already read 'Tinder' then why not buy a copy for a friend or if you haven't yet discovered this amazing author then I implore you not to wait any longer and rush out and get yourself a copy today. You won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight to discover and read! 23 Jan. 2014
Length: 0:15 Mins
I grew up with Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, and was delighted to find out that "Tinder" is based on one of his stories ("The Tinderbox").

Sally Gardner's twisted fairy-tale follows Otto Hundebiss, a deserter soldier running away from the cruelties of war (in this case the Thirty Years' war). Otto refuses the Death's hand when it is offered to him during his final battle, and what follows is a magical adventure which begins when the mystical creature gives Otto a pair of boots and dice to guide him on his quest (on his quest to find his true love, of course!). Otto meets Safire, a fierce and beautiful young woman, his love, and the chillingly scary "Lady of the Nail" who is after his virginity (and possibly his life), he encounters mysteries, horrors, grief and seduction. Nothing in this book can be taken at face value - everything has a double meaning, the story is full of symbols.

The tale is dark, but beautifully told, it is narrated like a medieval fairy tale. Utilising almost archaic turn of phrase, Sally Gardner creates a mystical and harrowing world. Gardner's narrative is fast-paced and gripping, mixing ghosts, werewolves, witches, spiders and cobwebs and talking flames - all in all quite a magical feast!

Additional star goes for the amazing illustrations by David Roberts, contributing to the book's horrifying beauty, which made the story come alive in my hands - I uploaded a short video of some of the illustrations. If you are thinking of getting the book - make sure to buy a hardback version (not an e-book!) - it's a delight to discover and read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't even bother with an e-book version. 11 Jan. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a sumptious book. You need to have it in your hand - you need to really enjoy the illustrations. Forget e-book versions, if they exist. It is a reworking of the Tinderbox story that you may or may not remember depending on how old you are. This is completely amazing if you have read the original and if you have never heard of it. Maggot Moon was a high spot for me but I loved this re-interpretation of an old story. Just hold it in your hand and love it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good story, gorgeous illustrations 19 Nov. 2014
By Geertje
You know you are reading an adult or young adult book when there are no pictures involved any more. Sally Gardner, who also writes books for children with illustrations, decided to do things a little different when she wrote her adult novel ‘Tinder’. This fairy tale retelling of ‘the tinderbox’ by Hans Christian Andersen is accompanied by beautiful illustrations made by David Roberts. Did this combination leave me with a hunger for more illustrated novels? Let’s find out!

‘Tinder’ tells the story of a soldier named Otto Hundebiss (literally dog-bite in German). During a brutal battle, Otto sees Death walking among the men and decides he has finally had enough: he flees into the forest. There, he meets a half-beast half-man who collects shoes from the dead. He gives Otto a new pair of boots and some magic dice that will tell him where he has to go. During his journey into the forest, Otto meets the daughter of the Duke who rules the neighbouring lands. Safire is accused of being a she-wolf and is hunted upon by the men of the Duke because she has to marry a prince. Otto decides that he will safe her, but how exactly does a deserted soldier go about saving the daughter of a Duke, especially when he has his own demons to battle? This synopsis sounds more light-hearted than the story really is: it contains rape, murder, betrayal and trauma. It is dark and gritty and probably more gruesome than the original fairy tale. Otto is the narrator and through his dreams, we slowly learn more about the events that haunt him and made him into the man he has become.

First and foremost, I must say I really liked the idea of combining an adult novel with illustrations. David Roberts has captured the atmosphere well with his drawings in different shades of black, grey and white.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rewrite of the Hans Anderson fairy tale for older readers
A great rewrite of Hans Anderson's Tinderbox fairytale which must be a contender for the Carnegie shortlist 2015. Read more
Published 17 days ago by lyra
5.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL & SUMPTUOUS BOOK!!
I don't usually buy hardback books; I find them difficult to hold and rather clumsy, yet when I first saw this in a shop, I was captivated and hypnotized by the title that was... Read more
Published 5 months ago by FAMOUS NAME
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says fairy tales are for kids?
Fabulously dark and medieval, set in the time of the 30 years war, Tinder is as captivating as it is bloody... A wonderful page turner with utterly gorgeous illustrations! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kitey
5.0 out of 5 stars All smiles
A very good edited version of Tinder Box with lots of additional parts that are excellent.
Published 7 months ago by zheng lu
5.0 out of 5 stars ... in hardback but I now feel this is the best way to enjoy this book
Was a little put out initially that I could only buy this in hardback but I now feel this is the best way to enjoy this book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Laura Collins
2.0 out of 5 stars A confusing melodrama.
Not sure who this is aimed at. Illustrations very dramatic. Language a little archaic. Use of Hans Christian Anderson's story quite clever.
Published 11 months ago by J.S Millward
5.0 out of 5 stars Awhoooo werewolves of Amazon...!
This was just great, I loved the surreal kind of spookiness that really drew me in to the lands being described. The drawings are fantastic and just perfect for this type of story. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. J. Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
What an excellent book. It is more like a fable. Quite strange, but in a way you can't put it down. Quick to read with great illustrations to add to the story. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lynne
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good modern fairytale
I bought this on a whim (I liked the look of it) and was hugely impressed. It is an elegantly written love story, beautifully illustrated. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cool Beans
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little story
Haunting little folkloric story written in clear concise prose by an excellent, well known story teller. Would appeal to a variety of ages.
Published 12 months ago by StoneLord1
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