Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Beautiful Fairy Tale

The Once Upon a Time challenge is now over, but it will have lasting effects on me. Carl, at Stainless Steel Droppings, was the host of the challenge and a the self-professed biggest fan of Neil Gaiman. I have to say, that love is spilling over to me. I've read 3 of his books this year. Each one different, but equally as good. Stardust (238 pgs, Avon) is an adult fairy tale and beautifully written.

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire. And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man that ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.

And so opens the beginning of this beautiful tale. At the turn of the Victorian era, in the English countryside, there was a town called Wall. It was named as such for the stone wall that was built to divide the city from the land of Faerie. Once every 9 years, a magical fair took place in the meadow outside Wall. It was the only time people were allowed outside the gap.

Young Tristran Thorn wanted only one thing. He wanted the love of the beautiful, but rather shallow, Victoria Forrester. As he was walking her home one night, they saw a falling star. Tristran told Victoria he would bring her that star if she gave him his "heart's desire". And Victoria, thinking how foolish Tristran was, agreed.

So with a pack on his back, Tristran sets off in the land of Faerie looking for the star. But he is not the only one looking. The witches of Lilim need the heart of the star to regain their youth. And the Lords of Stronghold are looking for the star in hopes of gaining the right to rule the land of Stronghold.

This book is magical. Set in the land of faerie, we encounter unicorns and talking trees; witches and goblins; pixies and stars. Stardust is beautiful in it's simplicity and it's lyrical prose. I can't believe I waited so long to read it! The characters are unique and full of life. They were written with such a vividness that I can picture each and every one. If you haven't read this wonderful little fairy tale, you should. It will have you believing in magic and happily ever afters again! 5/5


Kailana said...

You read it just in time for the movie to come out this summer. :)

kookie said...

Excellent! I'm so glad you liked it. I picked up a copy at the last library sale because another blogger had enjoyed it so much (the fact that I loved 'American Gods' didn't hurt either.)

chrisa511 said...

Such a great of my favorites. If you haven't seen the trailer for the movie, go download it now!

DesLily said...

I'm going to miss the Fantasy challenge.. i've purchased many books I might have missed just from all the great reviews!

Anonymous said...

You are tempting me. Great review!

Ana S. said...

I'm so glad you liked it! This is one of my favourite books ever!

Welcome to the world of Neil Gaiman adoration :D

Anonymous said...

Cool I am looking forward to reading this one. I want to see the film as well so I might wait until afterwards to read it so I don't spoil it. Glad you loved it.

Literary Feline said...

I saw the preview for the movie this past week and both my husband and I squeezed each others' hand--our signal that we want to see it. I am hoping I can squeeze the book in before the movie comes out. Your review makes me want to see it even more.

Bibliolatrist said...

I've added you to my blogroll - I enjoyed your review of Agnes Grey :)

Carl V. Anderson said...

It is such a wonderful book, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and even more glad that I have helped convert another to the love of Neil Gaiman! Woo-hoo!!!

Gentle Reader said...

great review--this has been on my list for awhile, but you're inspiring me to actually read it!

Bellezza said...

I've heard wonderful things about Stardust over and over. I'll really need to pick it up. I read Neverwhere for Carl's RIP Challenge, and that was very interesting.

Anonymous said...

it really was a great challenge wasn't it.

and his enthusiasm for gaiman and art always picks me up if my flags a little...!

1morechapter said...

I'm reading this for the Saturday Review challenge I also wanted to read it before the movie comes out.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I had no idea this was a book! I had seen the trailer for the film and thought it was interesting. Now I'll be adding it to my Must Read list!

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