Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Gaiman, author of Neverwhere (LJ 6/15/97) and the graphic novel series The Sandman, has created an original and well-written fairy tale. Young Tristran Thorn has grown up in the isolated village of Wall, on the edge of the realm of Faerie. When Tristran and the lovely Victoria see a falling star during the special market fair, Victoria impulsively offers him his heart's desire if he will retrieve the star for her. Tristran crosses the border into Faerie and encounters witches, unicorns, and other strange creatures. What he does not know is that he is not the only one searching for the fallen star. This is a refreshingly creative story with appealing characters that manages to put a new twist on traditional fairy-tale themes. Appropriate for almost any age and a good bet for the medium-to-large public library. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/98.]‘Laurel Bliss, New Haven, CT
Tristran Thorn falls in love with the prettiest girl in town and makes her a foolish promise: he says that he'll go find the falling star they both watched streak across the night sky. She says she'll marry him if he finds it, so he sets off, leaving his home of Wall, and heads out into the perilous land of faerie, where not everything is what it appears. Gaiman is known for his fanciful wit, sterling prose and wildly imaginative plots, and Stardust is no exception. Gaiman's silver-tongued narration vividly brings this production to life. Like the bards of old, Gaiman is equally proficient at telling tales as he is at writing them, and his pleasant British accent feels like a perfect match to the material. Gaiman's performance is an extraordinary achievement-if only all authors could read their own work so well. The audiobook also includes a brief, informative and enjoyable interview with Gaiman about the writing of the novel and his work in the audiobook studio. Available as Harper Perennial (Reviews, Nov. 23, 1998). (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
YA‘An old-fashioned fairy tale full of mythic images, magic, and lyrical passages. The town of Wall has one opening, which is guarded day and night. On one side of the stone bulwark is England; on the other, Faerie. Once every nine years, the guard is relaxed so that the villagers can attend a fair held in a nearby meadow. There, as a young man, Dunstan Thorn is seduced by a strange woman, and not quite a year later a child is left at the wall. His name is Tristran Thorn. When he grows up, he falls in love with Victoria Forester, and to win her affection, he vows to bring to her the fallen star that they see one night. The star has fallen in Faerie, and though Tristran soon finds her (for in Faerie a star is not a ball of flaming gas, but a living, breathing woman), he has a hard time holding on to her. The sons of the Lord of Stormhold also seek the star, for it is said that he who finds her can take his father's throne. In addition, the oldest of three evil witches seeks the star, for her heart can grant youth and beauty. While the bones of the story‘the hero, the quest, the maiden‘are traditional, Gaiman offers a tale that is fresh and original. Though the plot begins with disparate threads, by the end they are all tied together and the picture is complete. The resolution is satisfying and complex, proving that there is more to fairy tales than "happily ever after."‘Susan Salpini, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA