Stardust, Paperback
4 out of 5 (18 ratings)


Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow.

Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved.

It is an oath that sends him over the ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining...Includes extra material exclusive to this Headline edition.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780755322824



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Showing 1 - 5 of 18 reviews.

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Charmingly grown up short fairy tale - complete with the expected darker undertones.The Victorian village of Wall lies a day's drive from London, and yet is in mountainous terrain - perhaps S. Wales. It's called Wall because at the back of the village across some fields is a large high stone wall with just one narrow gap in it. Beyond the gap lies the faerie realm. Once every nine years the fae hold a market of world renown in these meadows. And so our story opens with a humble villager exploring the delights on offer. These include a cat-eared and violet-eyed storeholder's assistant. Unfortunately, a stretchable chain restricts her freedom, but in due course a child is born, and returned to Wall. Tristran Thorne he is christened and raised all unaware of his fae heritage. One evening while out courting his sweetheart, they observe a star falling on the far side of the wall, "If you fetch me that I'll grant you your heart's desire" says she. Of such rash promises are ever lover's quests born. And so, all unprepared, does Tristain enter the world of Faerie. As you might expect he briefly meets a variety of inhabitants, wise, fair and beautiful, as well as of course mendacious, false and ugly. He finds the star very quickly, and is surprised to learn that in Faerie stars are beautiful girls who sing haunting melodies - and have a sharp temper. Their journey back takes much longer, and Tristran never realises that many other people have an interest in the heart of a star. All too soon he's back at the fair and forced to choose between the star and his sweetheart on the other side of the wall.There are plenty of unexplained loose ends, and plot holes, such as how the chained assistant manages to have a child whilst under the sway of Madam Sempa; who/what the Fellowship are; etc. It could have been a much longer story, but then it probably wouldn't have the charming simpleness of this one. We're spared all the heavy morals that are sometimes larded over fairy tales, and left to draw our own conclusions. However there is nothing particularly insightful here, none of Pratchett's subtle commentary or Carroll's insights into life, it is just a charming, short, story - with a very sad ending.From what I've read of him, this is distinctly at the lighter, sweeter end of his work, and so may not appeal to all his fans. But the darker parts probably won't appeal to many traditionalists either. An enjoyable read for an hour or two (it won't take any longer). In the afterword he talks about a more serious Prequel, and maybe some other works set in or around Wall. I suspect if these ever appear they will provide the only motivation in wanting to read this again.

Review by

Hilarious, grisly, delightful, what a treat!A fairytale that keeps leaping off the edge of familiar into the splendid.

Review by

Stardust tells the story of Tristran, who goes out into Faerie lands to search a fallen star. On the way he encounters witches, Unicorns, flying boats and many more strange creatures.Neil Gaiman manages to present a dazzling fairy tale for adults, capturing the weirdness of Faerie as if he had been living there himself. Besides enjoying the terrific story there's another good reason to read the book now: The story was made into a movie and will be on the big screen in the second half of this year. Thus this is the perfect opportunity to let your imagination roam unbiased through Faerie.

Review by

Neil Gaiman has a way with words - flowery without being florid, and an ability to describe the fantastic as though it is common place, all the while maintaining a sense of wonder. I find myself fast becoming a fan.Stardust is a book about keeping a promise, no matter where it takes you. It's a fairly typical fantasy quest plot, but not a typical fantasy quest story. Short and sweet, definitely worth a read.

Review by

Whenever possible I like to read the book before seeing the movie. So this is the primary reason why I bought it. What can I say about the story? While the story was short and in no way tried to accomplish anything other than telling a story I enjoyed it immensely. I would recommend it to any adult who wants to be told a fairy tale just like when they were a child. And I guess that is what I took from the book. I loved the feeling of being back in a fairy tale world where anything is possible and where the baddies are bad and goodies good, and that you know what characters are on what side. While I originally picked it up just to have it read before seeing the movie I am very glad I did so and would recommend it, even if you aren't going to see the movie.

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