Having struggled with other books by this author, this came as a pleasant surprise. With a quasi-Harry Potter quality, the story is evocative, engaging and immersive. A novella, its the type of book you read on one or two sittings, though I read it all at once. Gaiman has mastered fantasy, and the use of fairytale elements as metaphor are prolific. It's light reading, fun, well paced and highly enjoyable. It's also shifted my perception of the author, so I'll likely choose other books he's written with hopes they're on par with this one!