Tonight i’m posting a review about Stardust written by Neil Gaiman. I found this book to be a really quick and enjoyable read. It definetley holds a special place on my bookshelf. I’d love to know what you think of Stardust or any other Neil Gaiman books you could recommend.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published by: Headline Books
Tristran Thorn lives in a little town named Wall situated in the sleepy English countryside. Life here moves at a steady pace. Tristan is in love with one of the popular girls in Wall, named Victoria Forester. Victoria doesn’t however return Tristan’s affections. One night, the both see a star fall from the sky. Victoria claims that if Tristran can retrieve the star for her, then he will win her hand and love. It is this vow that sends the young Tristran over an ancient wall on the edge of the town, into a world that is mysterious, strange and dangerous. This world opens up his eyes, the star is a fiery young woman who joins Tristran on an adventure featuring witches, magical sailing ships, curses and unicorns.
Stardust is one of my favourite go to novels. At just 194 pages long, its a fast read packed full of gripping detail. The novel could be mistaken for being a fairytale. It has the typical plots of good verses evil, a romance and adventure all wrapped up with a dusting of magic.
The main protagonist is a young man named Tristran Thorn. He is of half faerie parentage. Early on it is clear that Tristran doesn’t fit into the town of Wall. He is a dreamer, who wants to go on adventures and do remarkable things. Any romantics among us will instantly fall in love with Tristran. He’s warm hearted and goes out of his way to try and impress the popular girl of the village, Victoria Forester. When they see the star fall from the sky, he’s determined to retrieve it for her in order to win her heart. I love the thought of being given a glittering star. It truly would be a very romantic thing to bestow on a person. (One can dream!) As the story moves on we can see that Tristran is strong, determined and is unwilling to go down without a fight. He’s protective of the star all through the adventure they share together. Sometimes he can come across as being a bit unorganized and bumbling but I think that adds to his charm. He’s definitely an unlikely hero that shapes up to be a real strong character.
The other characters in the book include Yvaine, the star who falls from the sky. Yvaine, We first meet her as a sobbing woman, clearly upset at having fallen from her home. Once Tristran however slips the unbreakable chain over her wrist, she becomes more abrupt and defensive. Similar to Tristran she will not go down without a fight. The language Gaiman gives to Yvaine works really well. From the description of her I imagine a beautiful young woman who sparkles due to her star like qualities yet her language is abrupt and not so beautiful at times. This is especially so when she is insulting Tristran. I really like Yvaine. She adds a refreshing difference to the typical damsel in distress type figures we see in the average fairytale.
Yvaine is a valuable character in order to compare Tristrans love interest to. Victoria is cold hearted and self centred. She doesn’t seem to care at all about Tristran going off risking his life in order to bring her back the fallen star.
Stardust is a novel that is a fun read for people of all ages. Everyone from children to adults will find something to enjoy in this book. Its well written. Gaiman has that knack of using the words so effectively that you are instantly immersed in the world of Wall and Faerie.
Overall I think Stardust is the type of book that you can go back to over and over again. Its a typical cosy read that takes you back to your childhood. The only downside is that I’d have liked the book to be a bit longer as I didn’t want the story to end. As this is the only Neil Gaiman book I’ve managed to read so far, I’ll certainly be looking for some more of his books to read.
To sum up I give Stardust 4 out of 5 bookworms.