Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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This was my first foray into fantasy, and it went amazingly well.

Centred around a young man, Tristan Thorn, who sets off to find a fallen star in faerie land after he promises his love that he will do anything to win her over, this beautifully written novel had me absolutely hooked around the third chapter when we find out that there are other more mysterious and sinister characters trying to get the fallen star for their own reasons. On his journey to find the fallen star, Tristan encounters a number of obstacles, mystical and magical creatures, and just enough luck to save his skin a number of times.

What I really loved about this book was the fact that it was easy and accessible fantasy. As someone who has tried (and failed) to get through the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin’s respective Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones series, I thought fantasy just wasn’t my thing. I’m happy to admit that Neil Gaiman proved me wrong.

While the prose is not overly complicated and the vocabulary not too extensive, I felt that this only added to the overall magical feeling and found myself thinking I was a kid again (despite several graphic sexual encounters sprinkled throughout the book). This novel had everything you could ask for in a fantasy story: action, adventure, romance, suspense, mystery, murder, ghosts, witches and more!

The way different characters are introduced at different times, and how the stories all come together in the end was so intricately woven and expertly executed that I had several “ah-ha” moments during the last couple of chapters after finally realizing how some people who I had thought were unimportant side-notes ended up being crucial to the plot.

In the end, I was swept up and away in the magical world created by Neil Gaiman and can’t wait to delve into this newly discovered universe that is the fantasy genre. Please leave me some suggestions below for what I should read next and what your favourite fantasy novel is.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

  1. Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer, I love his short story collections as well as his novels. I would also recommend Dune by Frank Herbert, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, and A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. There have been plenty more that I have enjoyed, but I can’t think of them at this very moment. Enjoy!

  2. Fantasy is the best genre! You can find anything from any other genre, but with added layers of world building, magic, and even deeper character development due to the longer nature of the books. The downside is that it often has a steep curve. If you didn’t really get into The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones you might not like Dune. TLotR, GoT, and Dune are all great series, but aren’t the gentlest intro to fantasy.

    Starting out I’d recommend Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and Gaiman’s Stardust which you’ve just read. Optionally, I’d add the Harry Potter series to any fantasy beginner list, but it does start out in middle grade, and work it’s way toward YA as the series goes along so it might be a bit young for you.

    I’d highly suggest N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series. In fact you might should make this your next fantasy read. It’s that good! It begins with The Fifth Season, and is deservedly winning a lot of awards. It’s shaping up to possibly be the best fantasy trilogy ever. The final book comes out in August of this year, and I cannot wait to see how the story ends!

    There are sooo many other good books/series out there. These are just some that are really good, and easily read.

    1. Wow thanks so much! I forgot to mention that I did read Harry Potter because that was years ago but I love it, of course. I’ll have to give the hobbit a try but the thing I really liked about stardust was the romantic aspect of it. Does LOtR and GoT have strong romantic plots?

      1. There are romances in both, but I wouldn’t call them strong. Instead of being the focus of the stories they take a back seat. The stories are usually focused on other people’s perspectives, and so take place largely in the background. I honestly don’t read a lot of books that lean heavy on romance, but I did read Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey has a good love story. It isn’t there right away so you have to wait for it. Also there is bdsm/sexual content.

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