Tristran Thorn has an interesting background. His father was born in Wall, behind it’s wall. His mother was born in Faerie and has never been to Wall. The closest she came was to the Market that resides just outside of Wall every nine years. When Tristran was born, he was left by the wall with only his name. His father and his new wife took Tristran in and raised him. Tristran grows up in Wall not knowing of how he got there. On the brink of adulthood, he falls in love with the most beautiful girl in Wall and, in an attempt to win her love, he vows to go out into the world in search of the star they saw fall from the sky. Stardust is the story of Tristran’s journey through Faerie and back.
Stardust did not capture my imagination and heart the way that The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere, or even Coraline did. I liked Tristran’s character and what woman wouldn’t want a man to promise to go out and bring back a fallen star to her as proof of his love and worthiness? For whatever reason, something was missing for me with this novel. It had such imaginative people and places. I thought the sub-plot with the nasty sons of Lord Stormhold was interesting and I liked how that story and others were weaved into Tristran’s travels. It even contained the tree that Neil wrote for Tori Amos. It isn’t that I didn’t like the book. I just never got into it the way I had hoped. There isn’t one concrete thing I can point to that explains this. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t typically read four books by the same author in such quick succession or that I’m tired in general. All in all Stardust may not have been the strongest Neil Gaiman I have read this month, but it is as good if not better than much of what I have read this year.
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