I’ve been a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work, both for adults and for children, for a long time. I haven’t loved all of his books that I’ve read, but they are definitely original and I do love his writing, even when the story doesn’t grab me. So when a 15th anniversary gift edition of Stardust, his fairy tale for adults, was published, I decided it was time to read the one adult novel I hadn’t already read (nor have I seen the movie), and I wasn’t disappointed.
Somewhere in England is the village of Wall, so named for the wall along its eastern border, the only gap being a gate that is guarded at all times except the day of the market that takes place every 9 years, held by the residents of the land of Faerie, located in the woods east of Wall. During one such market, Dunstan Thorn purchases a glass flower from one of the vendors, who charges him only the price of a kiss on the cheek. Nine months later, a baby turns up at the gate to Wall, with a note pinned to his blanket stating only a name, Tristran Thorn.
Fast forward to Tristran as a teenager, in love with Victoria Forester, the most beautiful girl in Wall. When together they watch a star fall from the sky, Victoria promises Tristran his heart’s desire should he bring the star back to her. Tristran accepts the challenge and sets off for Faerie, unbeknownst to him returning to the land from whence he came. Others in Faerie are after the star, namely a witch looking to restore her youth, and a trio of brothers, one of whom will be the next lord of Stormhold. Tristran is offered help in small ways, as heroes of fairy tales usually are, and finds that his heart’s desire isn’t quite what he thought, as heroes of fairy tales usually do.
Stardust is a wonderful story, truly a fairy tale with good and evil, magic and destinies. There are a few spicy bits and a little bit of violence, so I would stick to the adult part of this being a fairy tale for adults. The gift edition includes a cloth case, gold-stamped cover and original artwork, as well as additional notes from the author. It would make a wonderful gift for any fan of Gaiman’s work or those who love fairy tales.
Nancy enjoys a good fairy tale and would love to live in a world full of magic, even if only for a little while. She writes about her boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.