In the tiny village called Wall, things are not quite what they seem...In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named.
Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, he makes a rash promise that sends Tristan through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy
Review: Back in March, Kailana challenged Nath to read a Neil Gaiman book by April 15th. I decided to jump on board because Mailyn sent me Stardust for Christmas. (Thank you, Mailyn!) Nath chose Stardust to meet the challenge, and we decided to do a buddy review.
Nath: I almost didn't make it!!! LOL ^^;
Ames: Despite a slow beginning, I thought this book really picked up and was quite satisfying in the end. I think I read somewhere that Stardust is like a modern fairy tale, and I agree.
Nath: Hmmm... Me I didn't know what to expect really. Upon reading the first few pages, I know it was going to be different, the writing style and all... then, I read the end... couldn't help myself. So when I went to read the beginning, I was wondering how it would tie with the story... but it fit really well. Also, I do agree that it's a satisfying book :)
The wall, by which the town of Wall stands, has one breach in it. And this breach is guarded every day and night to prevent people from going through to the other side. Through the breach, a meadow can be seen, and on the other side of the meadow, a forest. Every nine years, there is a Faery Fair in the meadow, and the guard is relaxed for one whole day. As a mini-spoiler, I have to say that Tristan is the result of a resident of Wall charming a lady from the Other Side. Only he doesn't know about his birth mother and blissfully lives his life in Wall. One day, in his 18th year, he walks home Victoria Forester, his love, and in a passionate bid for her hand, he tells her he will give her the star they just watched fall out of the sky. And Stardust is the story of Tristan Thorn's journey to find that fallen star.
Tristan's fate isn't the only one tied to the star's. There are three old witches, who need the heart of a star to remain young. A dying king's three sons must find the star to control the throne of Stormhold. And the star herself, who was knocked unceremoniously out of sky, has a destiny to fulfill as well.
An interesting story, fast paced, with some great characters. I think this is a great introduction to Neil Gaiman.
I liked the story, however, I disagree with Ames' comments on fast-paced. I didn't think this book was fast-paced at all, perhaps because of Mr. Gaiman's writing style. His writing style is so smooth that when you read the book, it feels gentle, peaceful and very passive. You're not in the action with the characters, but you're looking from afar... which is very different than nowaday's books, especially fantasy and I think it was a nice change. I agree with Ames that this was a nice introduction to Neil Gaiman, but I think this book is an exception. As in if I read Neverwhere or American Gods, the writing style will be very different and more contemporary... and that's why I'll be reading another book of his very soon.
Did you enjoy reading Neil Gaiman?
ames: Yes I did. There were some parts where I thought the story would be long and drawn out (because Tristan is going on a journey) but the story was never bogged down with the minute details.
nath: I really did enjoy the story. This was very different than what I'm used to read... The story was very straightforward and it wasn't dragged either.
Considering that you two both typically read primarily romance, did you enjoy the experience?
ames: Well, considering Tristan goes into Faery because of his love, I thought Stardust was a good blend of fantasy and romance.
nath: Personally, I think that Stardust was a romance :P Because if it wasn't for love, there wouldn't have been a story. But to answer the question, yes, I did enjoy the experience.
Would you recommend Gaiman to non-fantasy readers?
ames: Definitely. There is no major world-building and Stardust was quite humourous.
nath: I think I'll have to read a few more books by Mr. Gaiman, before making the recommendation. Not because the book wasn't good, but just to have a better sense of what's Mr. Gaiman's style.
Are you planning to read him again, or will this be your only attempt? Why or why not?
ames: I am going to read Gaiman again. I already have two books of his in my TBR pile.
nath: Yeah, I'm planning to read him again... either American Gods or Neverwhere. They sound intriguing.
Would you watch the movie?
ames: If Peter Jackson directed it, yes I would.
nath: hmmm, the movie is coming out soon and so, yes, I would go see it. I'm actually quite intrigued as how it will turn out. Unlike most fantasy books, I think this one would be quite easy to adapt to the big screen :D
ames: Nath has informed me that the movie, Stardust, is coming out soon and Peter Jackson didn't direct it. I was tempted to change my answer, but I had to investigate, and the trailer looks really good. Here is the Stardust movie website.
So, did anyone else achieve the Twisted Kingdom TBR challenge? What did you think of Stardust? You're welcome to share your thoughts with us! Also, if you want to read more about Stardust, you'll find Kailana and Mailyn's reviews in the following post.