'Stardust' by Neil Gaiman
"In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall. Young Tristan Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester, but Victoria is cold and distant as the star she and Tristan see fall from the sky one evening. For the prize of Victoria's hand, Tristan vows to retrieve the star for his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the town's ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining..."
‘Stardust’ by Neil Gaiman is a fairy-tale for adults set both in the magical realm of Faerie and the English village of Wall. I saw the film of this a few years ago and thought it was such an enchanting tale. Luckily I found a copy of the book in a used book store and I'm so glad I read it! As with all adaptations the book has so much more content than the film.
Dunstan Thorn is an eighteen year old boy living in the village of Wall. Wall got its name from the long wall that runs alongside it. Beyond the wall is the realm of Faerie. There is only one gap in the wall, through which you can see the meadow beyond, but the gap is guarded night and day and no-one from Wall is allowed to cross. With the exception of once every nine years when a fair is held in the meadow and anyone from England can cross and mix with the beings from Faerie.
The market is to be held again during Dunstan’s eighteenth year and he is excited to go. He wishes to buy a gift for the girl he likes and decides on a glass snowdrop from a flower stall, however the flower isn't all he comes away with. The beautiful girl selling the flowers is the slave of the witch who owns the stall and is forced to serve her until “the day the moon loses her daughter, if that occurs in a week when two Mondays come together.” Dunstan buys the snowflake for the price of a kiss and he promises to go back and see her that evening. Months later, when Dunstan has married his girl Daisy Hempstock, a small wicker basket is pushed through the gap in the wall with a note saying ‘Tristan Thorn’.
Skip forward seventeen years and Tristan Thorn is now a young adult with a love interest of his own. Tristan will do anything to win the heart of Victoria Forrester, including crossing the wall to bring her back a fallen Star. Tristan crosses the forbidden wall and sets out to find the star, enlisting the help of a little hairy man who once stayed in Dunstan’s barn. But Tristan isn't the only one out to get the Star (who isn't a lump of rock as he believes, but a beautiful woman) and Tristan must protect her and outwit the others who wish to claim her.
I thought this was a really wonderful tale of magic and adventure. I saw the film of this first and loved it, but (as always) the book was so much better! There was just so much more content in the book, and Tristan's journey felt more real.
Tristan is such a loveable hero. And I adored his relationship with the Star. I enjoyed seeing how their relationship grew from their first meeting where she absolutely hates him, to friendship and finally love. There were lots of other great quirky characters too! I particularly liked the little hairy man, Captain Alberic and Septimus. The witches were also really great villains, and I loved the idea of the heart of a Star giving them youth, which is then taken away again when they use magic.
This was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves magic and adventure!
I would give this book 4 stars :)
Let me know in the comments if you've read Stardust (or seen the film) and what you thought of it!
Places to buy:
The Book Depository
Follow Neil Gaiman on: