2017 Reading Challenge: A book involving travel
Author: Neil Gaiman
I sense a pattern here. All three books I have reviewed all have movie adaptations. A Monster Calls justified the book, Eragon did not, and Stardust by Neil Gaiman is right in the middle, where each is special in their own way, in my opinion (like How to Train Your Dragon – book vs. movie, completely different storylines, but they’re both so good!) I’ve seen the movie Stardust so many times (this is before I read the book which I finished yesterday evening) because I think it’s one of the most awesomest live action, fantasy movies, that isn’t part of a series, I have ever seen. I mean, it has Ben Barnes and Charlie Cox, and pirates in flying ships, witches and magic, Charlie Cox, princes’ in competition for the throne while the other dead ghost princes’ watch, Charlie Cox, a love story that goes from loving one girl to actually finding their true love, and of course Charlie Cox!
But once again, this isn’t about the movie (which I HIGHLY recommend you watch), it’s about the book. And once again, this is all my opinion.Out of thousands.
The story takes place between the neighboring worlds/lands of Faerie/Stormhold and a village called Wall (which is our reality whereas Faerie is a magical land of gnomes, dwarfs, unicorns, princes, and witches). These two lands are separated by a wall with a gap to let people through, though people are not allowed to pass through into each land except every nine years. The wall is always guarded by people from our world so that none may pass into the other.
Young Tristan Thorne, whose mother happens to be from Faerie and whose father is from Wall, is in love with the lovely Victoria Forester. One evening, the two are together and witness a star fall from the sky. A deal is struck to where if Tristan brings Victoria back the star, she must grant him whatever he desires from her, and Tristan is hoping for her hand in marriage. And so, he ventures across the guarded wall, with a little help from his father, to search out the star and retrieve it. During his journey, he meets many interesting people and creatures. And once he has found the star, which turned out to be a woman whose leg is broken most of the book, they make their way back to Wall so Tristan can offer Yvaine (the star) to his true love.
Other stories takes place around Tristan’s and Yvaine’s. There are princes who seek their late father’s jewel which is the Power of Stormhold and if they find it, that prince will be the next Lord of Stormhold, so naturally, the brothers must kill each other until one is left.
There are three old, old witches who seek Yvaine’s heart, because apparently, eating the heart of a star will return them to their youth. So, one of the witches heads out to track down Yvaine and to take her heart.
What did I like?
The story is told from many POV’s: from Tristan’s, Yvaine’s, a couple of witches, a couple of princes, and I think that’s it, though I feel like I’m missing someone. I love different POV’s. I love viewing the story from a different character’s perspective or learning about another character, ’cause honestly, characters are AWESOME! I also enjoyed the side characters which popped up, like the talking tree, or the hairy guy with the pack on his back who helps Tristan at the beginning.
I highly enjoyed the writing and just got lost in Gaiman’s descriptions, like . . .
“It was sometimes said that the grey-and-black mountain range which ran like a spine north to south down that part of Faerie had once been a giant, who grew so huge and so heavy that, one day, worn out from the sheer effort of moving and living, he had stretched out on the plan and fallen into a sleep so profound that centuries passed between heartbeats.”
That sentence was so long but it so works!!!!
What didn’t I like about it?
The ending, per se. More specifically, the final confrontation between Yvaine and the witch. There really wasn’t one (if you compared it to the final action scene in the movie, which I am not . . . ). It was basically (Spoilers) . . .
Witch: I wanted your heart. To eat it and get my youth back.
Yvaine: I gave it to my true love.
Witch: Oh, ok. Goodbye. I go back to my sisters now.
The only exciting part for me was the fight scene between a lion and a unicorn (yeah, that happens). There’s another action scene in an inn, and then with the last remaining prince and the witch, but there really wasn’t a huge amount of action in this story, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
There are a couple of brief intimacy scenes between a man and a woman (to put it lightly), the F-Word is used once among many other insults the star uses to name Tristan. A tad graphic, but not too much – IMO.
Overall, I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style, the characters, the story, what wasn’t put in the film, and the world of Stormhold (Faerie). And I will probably be enjoying the film and this book for the rest of my life. Watch the film. It’s pretty okay (AMAZING!) in my opinion . . . and I would recommend the book as well. It’s a lovely little tale which one could possibly finish in a day or two.
Now, here are some pretty illustrations I discovered on Google. Enjoy!
Once I finish King’s Cage I will start Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and that will be the next book review. Have a good week!
Have you read this gem? Don’t you just love stories where the characters grow up? I mean, Gaiman did say that this was a story about how Tristan became a man, but still! Have you seen the movie? Isn’t it quite the little gem itself? I think I’ll watch it today. Excuse me 🙂