First book review of 2016 (well, not that I did that many during 2015, but here’s one now)!!! First off, this year marks the first year I’m making a booklist, literally a list of books that I read in 2016. It’s going to be amazing, I’m sure, because I already have four books down. One of those books that I’ve read happens to be the one I’m reviewing today, BUT I’ll try to quit rambling and get on to the backstory behind how I read the book.
Stardust is another loan! I love it when people loan me books because in my head it means that they’ve accepted me as a fellow literary nerd and they also trust me to keep the book in good condition. So yup, Stardust is one of four books lent to me by a very good friend. I started and finished it in the same day, partly because it’s really short and partly because it was extremely interesting. You know what? I would use the word alluring.
Ahem, ahem, I think I’ve got back to rambling, so without further ado…
Author: Neil Gaiman
POV: Third person
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is set in a fantasy England area called Wall, thus named because a wall encircles the village, the only barrier between Wall and Faerie. But every nine years the Faerie folk and people from all over flock to Wall for the Market, and it is there that the story starts.
Enter Tristran Thorn, seventeen years of age and absolutely smitten with Victoria Forester, to him the most beautiful girl in the British Isles. Desperate for her hand in marriage, he makes a rash promise to bring her back the star she had seen fall from the sky and sets off on a journey to Faerie. But several other than Tristran will have the same star, and will cheat and kill and lie to obtain it. Innocent of what dangers may befall him, Tristran wanders deeper into Faerie, only knowing that he will bring the star back to his true love.
But there are other things he finds, such as unicorns and chains and a desperate fight among seven brothers for the throne. Ultimately, will Tristran and his youthful love conquer all obstacles, and will Victoria Forester keep her promise to give him whatever he asks for?
Okay now that the summary is over, it’s time to review. I loved this book. I’m going to read it again. Oh, so you want something more concrete than that? Well, firstly the whole style of the narrative was beautifully crafted, full of colourful descriptions and phrases that seemed to have been born in Faerie itself. I don’t even know how this works, but the prose was like poetry that danced and felt so smooth and easy to read. Nothing boring about it at all.
Then the characters. And the names. Oh, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved the names. Every single name fit so beautifully and perfectly. I almost cried out aloud for joy when I read the name of the star. Excuse me while I spoil this a bit, but the star is a person. And for a long time in the story she refuses to speak to Tristran or give him her name, but when she eventually does IT’S PERRRRFECTTTTT (I want to sing it it’s so lovely). But honestly, it makes me so happy when I see beautiful names that fit the character like a mould. (Really, when she was about to reveal her name I was holding my breath and then she gave it and I nearly SCREAMED because it was beautiful!!!!!!! Fangirl moment!!!!!! Ok I’m back.)
What was I saying about the characters? Oh yes they were crafted. I don’t even have to put an adverb there. They were crafted, they were real. And they fit so nicely into the genre of fantasy because when you read fantasy you always have this suspension of belief that holds better than when you read ‘real-life’ books. So even if the characters do weird things, it all seems perfectly normal. It’s great like that.
Um. Now we get to some prickly territory? Why is it NC16, you ask? Hello Sarah, you aren’t even 16 yourself! Who are you to tell me I shouldn’t read it if I’m not 16 when you aren’t and you’re gushing all over the place about this book? Well…there’s…THERE’S A BAD WORD! And even though you’ve probably been exposed to vulgarities for a long time even if you aren’t 16, I still don’t like reading foulness in prose. I don’t know about you, but there are certain standards I set for myself (but I’m still going to read it again because I know what part it’s at and I can just cover it). But yes, it’s only one (one is still a lot! It taints the whole thing and makes me sad) early on in the book, so after that you can sort of forget about it and read in peace.
One more thing about the NC16 thing is that at the start there’s some stuff that probably wouldn’t be appropriate for younger people to read. Ok fine actually it can be NC15 but there’s no such thing as that so I’m leaving my rating.
Now we get back to the awesomeness of the book. The theme is wonderful, and coming from me that’s amazing because I’m such a clueless butterfly that I usually have a very hard time finding the themes of books. Want to know what the theme is? ‘Tis:
Follow your dreams; strive to attain your goals. Even if you find that what you wanted at first was not what you truly wanted, it is on the journey to fulfil your dream that you will find your real desire and attain it.
and I’m telling you I would have rated it 5 stars if not for the parts mentioned above. It was excellent. It was art and poetry combined in prose, and to make matters better it’s a really short book! So I’d advise you (if you are of the accepted age) to read Stardust and come and talk to me about it. I love it.