Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

“There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire. And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole tale of it."
So begins Gaiman’s enchantingly beautiful adult fairy tale full of romance, magic and adventure. Every nine years the Victorian town of Wall is disrupted from its sleepy ways by people who come from the ends of the earth to see the fairy market held in a meadow on the other side of the wall. On one such market day, Dunstan Thorn falls in lust with a fairy woman. 

Nine months later a basket is left at the entrance to the meadow containing Tristan Thorn. Now, 17 years later Tristan, knowing nothing of his heritage, has fallen in love with the beautiful and aloof Victoria Forrester. He makes a bargain with her, that if he brings back a falling star that fell that night from the sky into the lands beyond the wall, she will give him his heart’s desire. His quest takes him into adventure and finally to the discovery of who he really is, for in fairy the star is not just a lump of metal, but a beautiful girl named Yvaine, a daughter of the moon. 

Finding her is not difficult, but getting her back to Wall is trickier, for Tristan is not the only one searching for her. The dying Lord of Stormheld knocked Yvaine out of the sky with a gem that one of his sons must retrieve to become the next Lord and an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. Enhanced by stunning illustrations from Charles Vess, delicate and yet full of detail that captures the very essence of the tale, Stardust is an entrancing, twisting, magical witty and scary-at-times timeless tale that has unsurprisingly won many awards.

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog click here or find out about the movie (now out on DVD) by clicking here.