Stardust is a delightful little story of a boy who, in order to win the hand of the girl he loves, goes on a quest to recover a fallen star. He's promised the girl that he will return with the particular star they saw together to prove his love, and she promises his heart's desire if he returns with the item. Seems like a fairly straightforward task, right? Of course it's not! Because the star has fallen into Faerie, the land beyond the gap in the wall of the town of Wall, and no one's gone through the gap except for the fair that comes to town every nine years. Undaunted, however, Tristran resolutely goes through on his quest into the strange land where gnomes, little hairy men, witches, talking trees, and who knows what else lives.
Gaiman has given this tale lots of twists and turns. It doesn't take long for Tristran to discover that he's not the only one looking for the fallen star; the would-be rulers of Stormhold need it to recognize which brother will inherit the kingdom, and a trio of witchly sisters covet the star in order to return themselves to their former youth and beauty. Tristran, whose own parentage seems to indicate he's from Faerie as well, is mightily surprised when he discovers what the fallen star actually is, and he finds himself outwitted and forlorn in his journey to return to Wall to capture his love's heart. Along the way he encounters and battles some strange creatures, and discovers that maybe what he desires most isn't what he thought it was.
This is a short book, and it really could have used a bit more fleshing out at times. Tristran is an engaging character, if a bit naive, and the other creatures he encounters are imaginative, often behaving in the least expected ways. The best part is the ending, when Gaiman gives us some very surprising, smile-inducing twists. Recommended!
If you've only seen the film, Stardust the book (widely available as both a graphic novel and a novel) is quite different in tone. The story is a creatively dark fantasy adventure for adults (there is some gruesome violence, a couple instances of sex, and brief strong language) that tells a fairly bittersweet story of romance and love. The main characters all experience a great deal of hardship and tragedy and while lessons are learned and they ultimately are better people for it, they … more
I'm one of those folks who saw the movie first. I was quite surprised Neil Gaiman would write such a 'light' story as was presented in the movie. I'd read his 'American Gods' before because it was touted 'as good as Stephen King' or my money back. It was as good, in my opinion, but that also meant his writing was on the dark side. When I picked up Stardust I expected something that was more of a YA fantasy read, but it's definitely … more
When Tristran Thorn is sent on a quest to find a falling star by his ladylove Victoria Forrester, little did he know of the magical adventure that would ensue. After falling in love with the film, and being acquainted with other Gaiman works over the past year, I had high expectations for this novel. But sadly, I must confess, I actually liked the film better - which was quite a surprise to me. Don't take me wrong, I enjoyed this book immensely, but the film just left out … more
Okay, maybe not the kind of Fairy Tale you would read to your very young children, but after delving through horror and dark fantasy, I found Stardust to be a refreshing, childlike break; minus the hangover of feeling like I was exposed to an excess of sugar and cotton candy. After all, Fairy tales used to be a bit brutal in their own right, and taking away all of the blood and violence in order to conform to today's "Politically Correct" standards also takes away from the lesson to be learned. … more
Tristran Thorn would do absolutely anything to win pretty Victoria Forrester's heart. Even venture across The Wall into mysterious Faerie in search of a fallen star. But once he enters Faerie, mysterious things happen. Tristran knows the location of every place in the land. He meets a strange, small man who gives him a candle that allows him to travel great distances. And when he finally finds the fallen star, Tristran discovers that it is not a lump of rock like he thought, but a young woman, who … more
Stardust (1998) is the first solo prose novel by Neil Gaiman. It is usually published as a novel with illustrations by Charles Vess. Stardust has a different tone and style from most of Gaiman's prose fiction, being consciously written in the tradition of pre-Tolkien English fantasy, following in the footsteps of authors such as Lord Dunsany and Hope Mirrlees. It is concerned with the adventures of a young man from the village of Wall, which borders the magical land of Faerie.