“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.” – Neil Gaiman.
This is a book I have been dying to get my hands on for a very long time and not just because I love the cover and how it is consistent with Gaiman’s other works.
Stardust first came to me in the form of the movie, rather than the book and I loved it. Ever since I have wanted to read the book and not too long ago I finally bought it. I couldn’t wait to read it, so unsurprisingly it was bumped up in my TBR pile.
Stardust is a fantasy story full of magic and the world of Faerie. Tristan Thorn travels into the Faerie world on the other side of the wall in search of a star which fell from the sky in order to win the heart of Victoria Forester. Throughout Tristan’s travels through Faerie we learn of this magical world and the danger that lies within it.
I feel that the best way to start discussing this book is to comment on the writing. I love Gaiman’s writing style. It’s captivating and so lovely and satisfying to read. It’s one of those books you want to read aloud because the words all just sound so wonderful together. Gaiman has effectively bought to life the world of Faerie with his well-rounded characters and interesting and detail descriptions.
Before starting this book I expected the character focus to be completely focused on Tristan, but as a result of how the story goes I am glad it is not. Tristan is still clearly our main character, but there are other important characters too and by changing the viewpoint Gaiman enables us to learn more about these other characters too and their motivations behind wanting the star.
I loved how in the end everything tied together and Gaiman created an ending which left my feeling rather bittersweet and content. He showed us the future for the characters we have grown to love and left open for us the possibility of us seeing more of this world through a prequel. Whether or not Gaiman writes his prequel, Stardust works wonderfully as a stand alone, but also has the potential to stand great as part of a series. I for one would definitely love to see more of this world.
I mentioned before how I had seen the movie (several times actually) before reading this book. In the movie the witches were definitely made out to be greater villains, which did leave me a tad disappointed by the end of the book because I had expected more action. However, if you are going to watch the adaptation before reading the original piece, you have to accept that some things are going to be changed as I don’t feel the movie would have worked as well without the action and the villainous witches.
I found the story to be a little slow, but I don’t mean this in a bad way. It’s very paced out and it makes it feel more real, rather than rushed. Also, it suits the writing style really well, therefore it works really well as a book. The only disappointments I feel are from comparisons made against the movie and I don’t feel like it’s fair to draw on those when it is very different and it is an adaptation created in a different form. I reckon I preferred the movie plot, but that doesn’t mean that the book wasn’t wonderful itself.
Overall, I was very pleased with this book and rate it 5/5. I very much enjoyed the writing and immersing myself in a new fictional world. This has definitely encouraged me to check out some more of Gaiman’s books (any recommendations?).
Have you read Stardust? What were your thoughts?