Stardust by Neil Gaiman
“Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall – named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends him over the ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining…”
I shall be careful not to give away too much. If you do decide to read any of the ‘reviewed’ books I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you, or give away any other major plot twists, so I’ll try to be as vague as possible. However, these won’t be completely spoiler free so if that bugs you stop reading here.
What I thought:
So, I finally did it! I finally went to see what all the fuss was about! Stardust being the first novel by Neil Gaiman I read I didn’t know what to expect. I only knew there’d be some form of magic, probably, and that I kept seeing the name everywhere where books hang out.
I can totally (excuse my use of the word, it just seems to fit this time) see what all the fuss is about. Neil Gaiman is an excellent writer, and I already can’t wait to read the next book. No idea when that will happen, mind you, given the length of my ever growing reading list or which one I’ll pick. Feel free to give me your recommendations 🙂
This was different to the other books I’ve read recently. Good different. It almost didn’t feel like a book, but more like Neil Gaiman himself had sat down with me and was telling me this story himself, which made for a different and amazing experience. And there was magic. A lot of it. But more on that in a minute.
As the blurb above states, the book begins in the small town of Wall. Every nine years, a market selling wondrous magical trinkets and oddities comes into town and sets up tent in the meadow just outside. And this is where it gets interesting, because the people of Wall can only enter the market through a gap in the, well, wall. Within the town, you see, magic doesn’t exist. It’s the world as we know it, more or less, but once you step through that gap you enter a different world where magic does exist.
So it’s a big deal when Tristran Thorn promises the lady he’s lost his mind to that he’ll travel beyond the wall to bring her the star they saw falling to earth. I won’t go into the detail of his journey to the star now, but when he gets there he realises that he hasn’t searched for a rock – magic being real outside of Wall the rock is actually a girl, and a feisty one at that!
Naturally, Tristran isn’t the only one looking for her. There’s also a powerful witch who needs the Star’s heart to secure eternal beauty and youth (as selfish as you’re gonna get), and a nobleman who needs her to earn the throne. So of course it’s not as easy as that.
And of course the book isn’t just about a young man chasing a Star who turns out to be a girl but will turn back into a rock once they enter the magic-less town of Wall. There’s so much more than that, and magic is in the middle of it all. I think ‘enchanting’ is the word. But not the sparkly, pink kind, and not in a Disney kind of way.
So, yeah, I’m glad I finally read a Neil Gaiman novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect but this was definitely it and more. It also helped me realise that it doesn’t matter if a book is short, as long as the story is amazing. If you’ve never read one by him and want something new, maybe something a teensy bit different, give this one a shot – I can’t recommend it enough.
I don’t review books professionally, neither do I get paid for it. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Amazon listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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