Much of the time, in fantasy, it all seems to come back to Narnia, and Stardust, whether purposely or not, is definitely one country over (a most adult county though) from C.S. Lewis. Here is a line, straight out of Lewis (or E. Nesbit, Lewis's fairy godmother): "There is something about riding a unicorn, for those people who still can, which is unlike any other experience: exhilarating and intoxicating and fine." (the italics are mine). That's the ghost of Narnia speaking.
A bit of another Lewis as well, albeit Lewis Carroll this time, a very small (but important bit). Tristran could have been turned into anything, but Gaiman has him turned into a dormouse.
(the word "clodpoll" is used several times by the star, and that was a word used frequently by "good old" Doli in Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this novel. In fact, this is certainly the most charming and sweet Neil Gaiman book I've ever read, and that's said with some pretty bloody scenes still fresh in my memory. The plot is pure Victorian fairy story (think Oscar Wilde or George MacDonald or The Little Lame Prince), but Stardust also exists one country over from Narnia as well (a very adult country), certainly in narrator (E. Nesbit, C.S. Lewis's fairy godmother, is also hiding in here too). The kind of fantasy reader who like long, drawn out, sexually charged bloody political thrillers disguised as fantasy, should probably stay away. But if your reading history is broad and you like fairy and folk tales, you are going to enjoy this romantic ride. There are several occasions, too, where the writing absolutely soars into beautiful territory.
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