16 March 2009

Stardust (Neil Gaiman)

For your reading pleasure: some more Neil Gaiman love. This time, a cute, old fashioned (old fashioned on purpose you understand...) love story that takes place in the world of faerie. If you've seen the movie (not bad), or read the title of this post...you'll know I'm talking about Stardust.
Tristran Thorn lives in the village of Wall, so named because of the Wall which lies to its east, separating our world from the world of Faerie. On his seventeenth birthday he learns that his father crossed over into faerie one night, met a girl and ... well, you know. Half-faerie, half-human, poor old Tristran has quite the identity crisis and he has promised his beloved, Victoria, he will retrieve a fallen star for her from faerie. Because NOTHING says true love like a fallen star. When Tristran gets to where the star fell, he discovers not a lump of grey rock, but a beautiful (and kind of grumpy) woman named Yvaine. Oh no... cue romantic dilemma... stars take the form of beautiful women!
Meanwhile, the Lord of Stormhold has died, and his three sons who are still alive are vying for the crown, which will be passed on once there is only one Stormhold heir left. Primus, Tertius and Septimus spend most of the story trying to kill one another, all the time followed by the ghosts of the brothers who have already been killed off. (SERIOUSLY lacking in brotherly love, but we can't expect anything more with names like that...)

Gaiman wrote Stardust in the style of a Victorian fantasy, with references to various Nursery Rhymes, local myths and legends. It is a self-consciously quaint, charming read, made about a million times more special by the amazing, AMAZING illustrations by Charles Vess. Though you can now buy Stardust as an ordinary novel, I strongly advise that you find an illustrated version somewhere (there is a regular paperback and a gorgeous, GORGEOUS hardback special edition) - you just won't get the total Victorian fantasy package unless you invest in the pictures.

Search Engine Submission - AddMe