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When young Tristran Thorn witnesses a star fall from the sky, he vows to bring the star back to beautiful Victoria Forester, the object of Tristran's adoration, in exchange for her hand in marriage. To accomplish his quest, Tristran must cross the wall separating his village from a magical realm. Unbeknownst to our love-obsessed protagonist, the star is actually a woman--and Tristran is not the only one after her.
Stardust
My Rating: 2.3 out of 5  


Stardust has been described by the author as a fairy tale for adults, which I thought would really interesting to read. I was disappointed. When I think of a fairy tale I tend to think of a story with a moral (usually for children). I didn't pick up on a moral to Stardust but the story does have many elements of the classic fairy tale story. Most notable is the beautiful, poetic language that Gaiman uses. Indeed, his words seem almost as magical and mystical as the world he's created. There are times when it seems he used a word just because he likes the way it sounds, and those little diversion I found enjoyable.

The characters that I found most interesting were minor characters. They seemed to be the most quirky and colorful of the cast.The rest of the characters seemed pretty un-fairy tale-like, especially the main characters. The fairy tale dichotomy that I grew up with is missing from those characters. The witch queen is not overtly evil and the fallen star is not overtly good. In that way, they seem more human and more relatable, but the story suffered I think because it also lost an element of drama that could have been exploited had the characters been more exaggerated. This is probably a matter of personal taste though.

I read somewhere that Stardust was initially published as a graphic novel. I wonder if the illustrations had accompanied the text in my copy if I would have enjoyed it more. The book is nice little read that's sort of middle of the pack, neither the best nor worst book to spend a few hours with. Just be forewarned that the book does not shy away from sex, so if that is something that bothers you it's probably a good idea to pass on this one. It's not a lot of sex though. I think I was just surprised because the movie is PG and I guess I was expecting the novel to be PG as well. It's not. The novel is much too graphic in its dealings with blood, murder and sex for my taste. The story plot was exciting and as entertaining as most hero journey stories are. I watched the movie long before I read the book, so perhaps that spoiled my expectations a bit. The movie took heavy creative license and altered a lot of the story. I find the movie much more fun and adventurous than the book so I highly recommend watching the film version!

And now for my last book of the Fall Reading Challenge: Kindred by Octavia Butler. I've still got some time so let's see if I make it by the January 5th deadline.

FINISHED BOOKS: