Stardust by Neil Gaiman

stardustThis story is a fantasy novel, a kind of a fairy tale  twisted and turned, until it resembles nothing but horror. The happy ending which (always) was expected… all gone. This is the fifth Neil Gaiman book I’ve read. It is one of those I liked best aside from Coraline, of course. I have been a big fans of Neil Gaiman since I was nine years old.

Do people believe in magic? I’ve recently watched a movie called ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ a fantasy story, which brings me to a world full of hidden magic. Only that, most people don’t believe in magic. Ofelia, the hero, tried to bring it up, but all she received was wondering eyes from adults and questioning looks of whether something was wrong with her. They lacked the power to believe. It is also mentioned in Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. After many years, everybody would get buried down under the rabbit’s fur. We’re all so comfortable, we would start picking up our own routine. We would never questioning things, trapped in a world where we expect everything to stay normal and panicking at every sign of strangeness.

Please, people! Don’t lose your sparkle.

This story took place in a little village near London where – it was said – a lot of peculiar things liked to happen. There were fields and forests around the village, but on the east side, there was a wall. The fields beyond it were never used, because strange incidents always happened there. Every day, two guards were stationed to guard the door, to make sure that nobody would come in. The only time when the wall wasn’t guarded was every nine years, when the Market came. But it wasn’t an ordinary market. It’s a market which sold very strange stuffs. Like flowers which would never wilt or small china kittens that could actually move and run about.

Tristan Thorn had a very complicated history. He had a mother and a father in the village who cared for him, but his mother wasn’t his birth mother. Long time ago, at one market visit, his father, Dunsten Thorn, met and fell in love with a young girl, Lady Una, who sold peculiar flowers — Flower that would never wilt and produced a beautiful tinkling noise. She was cursed by a witch and would turn into a bird. So long story short, Dunsten fell in love with her instead of his fiancee. Before Una left, they had a small love affair. Nine months later, Dunsten was married to Daisy Thorn when a small basket with a baby boy was found, pushed near the hole in the wall. That baby boy was named Tristan.

Tristan Thorn grew up and  like many other boys, in the village, would eventually fall in love. The young woman’s name was Victoria Forester. She was one of the prettiest woman around. Many people had proposed to her, although she had yet to marry and fall in love. Tristan decided to try and ask her to win her hand in marriage if he retrieved the falling star they saw. The star had fallen in the direction of the wall. Victoria agreed. If Tristan brought back the star, she would kiss and marry him. So, here was the start Tof ristan’s adventure, back from where he started his life: through the wall.

As soon as he entered a world full of magic, Tristan found out many things he did not know about himself; like the ability to know the direction of a certain thing without using a map. But unfortunately for him, there were lots of people who were hunting the star beside him. There were the Lilim, witch siblings who wanted to be young again. There were the heirs of the Stormhold throne who wanted to be a king. The were other star hunters who were strong, intelligent and sly, ready to do anything to get to their star. But what about Tristan? He’s a young, inexperienced lad who just wanted the star for his love interest. When his goal was compared to the other people who’s after the star, it sounded really stupid.

Although, it is a fairy tale and full of magic, this is not Harry Potter adventure that has been written for children but is also read by adults. This book is suitable for most teenagers and grown-ups. There are many deaths, sex, and swearing that aimed for 16+ years old. Despite the fact it’s packed with a sense of wonder, fantastical world, enchantment, and mystery, I am warning you, Stardust is not a childish book. It’s not – like my mom always said – “kid’s friendly”.

I really like this story because of its description detail of a world full of beauty and magic. A world where everybody is special in their own ways. Gaiman’s writing is a mix of fast-moving plot that I had difficulty breathing, but Gaiman also remember to frequently paused to describe things, like the creepy Stormhold, the beautiful forrest of Faerie, and a unicorn’s skewering a witch. It also does it with style, wit, and a sense of poetry. There is none of the flat writing style that can often hamstring fantasy novels. It is really an entrancing, very impressive read for everyone, including the ones who don’t like unicorns *joking*

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. As a devotee of Gaiman,  I am willingly investing my precious time to read all his books and happily write about it.

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