Stardust By Neil Gaiman Book Review


Neil Gaiman is a name that would be at par with all literary pioneers. He is well known in the fantasy-horror genre for his gothic writing style and has many acclaimed works to his credit from Sandman to American Gods. 

Stardust deviates from Gaiman’s quintessential style in the sense that it is not really gothic. Yet, It is very much a fantasy that is oozing with folklore and allusions. In fact, Gaiman uses a style that feels like you are reading an adult version of some fairytale because it is simple yet so enchanting. 

Stardust has a simple premise but Gaiman elevates it with his imaginative world-building. He includes many folklore elements such as witches, unicorns, fairies coupled with allusions from the literary world like Merchant of Venice and Oliver Twist. All these add new dimensions to the story which moves above and beyond a fairytale. The story is told from the point of view of Tristan who lives in the Wall Village. He is smitten by a girl in his village and promises to bring her the star they saw falling from the sky. From here starts his magical adventure as he ventures out of his village for the first time and go across the faerie-land in search of the fallen star. 

Another interesting aspect of Stardust is its key characters. While Tristan (Chivalrous, Self-less, good at heart) and Yvaine (Snappy yet caring, smart,  warm-hearted) are how you would expect the lead characters to be, it is the support characters that add so much colour to this story. Septimus and Primus are both selfish but to different degrees. Primus is simply ruthless when it comes to things he wants but Septimus is reasonable and somewhat compassionate. One of my favourite characters is Morwanneg of The Lilim (3 of the greatest witches). She is evil but has a sense of humour and that makes for very interesting reading. The other favourite are the Stormhold Ghosts who are delightful and hilarious. 

One element that is common with another Neil Gaiman book I loved (Good Omens) is Humour. Though the humour in Stardust is not really at the core of the storytelling (unlike Good Omens), Gaiman seamlessly intertwines it with beautifully written pieces to ensure that the readers have a smile on their faces right through the book. I was grinning like an idiot the entire time. So if you are looking for an easy read that is fascinating and offers a unique perspective, Stardust should be on your mind. 


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