Book review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

StardustStardust by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the Victorian Era set in Stardust, young Tristran Thorn is willing to go to extreme lengths to prove his love for his one-true-love Victoria. Victoria, who is practically able to choose from a handful of potential husbands, shows poor Tristran very little serious interest — not until one night, he vows to retrieve a fallen star the two saw crash to the earth. If Tristran succeeds to bring the star back for his beloved, Victoria agrees to marry him. Tristran, determined as ever, travels to the land beyond the Wall — a land of magic and a kingdom filled with dangers.

Stardust is probably one of my favorite books — and movie adaptations — of all time. I actually saw the movie before I read the book, and I loved every second of it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I ended up asking my relatives to buy me the book every birthday and Christmas that came along. The book, by Neil Gaiman, was equally as interesting as the movie, though it did differ in a few instances. Normally, when books are turned into movies, there’s a part that will always be missing. This was also the case for Stardust but, funnily enough, it did not drag the movie down or vice versa. Both the book and the movie were entertaining in their own right, somehow.

What I love about Stardust is the fact that all characters are so incredibly believable. Tristran, driven by his own affection for a girl in his life, is willing to go to a place he’s only heard of, a place which he knows nothing about just to retrieve a fallen star. He is so incredibly determined and that’s what makes him so loveable as a main character. The fact that this love story was told through the eyes of a man was another reason why I enjoyed this story a lot — it was a change, for once, in the romance genre and one I welcomed gladly.

Stardust mixed the Victorian Era with magic and fantasy with princes and kings and royal birthright, and when you start the book, you don’t expect that whatsoever. I, at least, did not think the kingdom’s issues would prove to be such a vital element to the story. On top of that, the entire thing was funny, had clever dialogue and was just … written really well. Yvaine, the main female lead was sassy, clever and exactly what you’d want from a female character and the entire trek to return the star to Victoria came off as totally believable to me. “Yes, go ahead and travel through dangerous territory. Yep, go there, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for there.”

I spent a good majority of the book yelling that Tristran actually didn’t love Victoria at all, and I generally find that if I’m yelling at books as if characters are supposed to hear me and completely decide to change their life, that the book is a good one. I’ve said this before to friends, but I am completely smitten with the way Neil Gaiman writes and describes things, and Stardust was filled with little bits of lovely fairytale elements that I loved.

Stardust will always be one of my favorite books, which is also why I ended up getting it signed by Neil Garman during a book signing. Despite the fact that I actually prefer the movie over the book (yes, I can hear you yelling: “That never happens!”), the book was a lovely read in my opinion and it will always hold a special meaning for me.

5 out of 5 stars for Neil Gaiman’s Stardust — if that wasn’t obvious yet from all my gushing — a story in which magic, witches, kingdoms, love, a silly lovestruck boy and a simple shining star come together.



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