Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a remarkable quest into the dark and miraculous—in pursuit of love and the utterly impossible.
Wallace Stevens believed that in order to see the actual world, it helps to visualize a fantastic one. For more than a decade, Gaiman has been helping readers grapple with reality by offering fantastic worlds in visionary graphic novels like The Sandman, occasional short stories and his bestselling first prose novel, Neverwhere. Here, Gaiman extends his range by offering a novel-length fairy tale, one that abounds in wonder and lessons. The story begins in the Victorian-era English village of Wall, a place that touches the world of Faerie. There, every nine years, a fair is held where the magic folk commingle, occasionally in intimate ways, with those who live in the mundane world. From such a union is born Tristan Thorn. Raised without knowledge of his fairy blood, Tristan falls in love with a local beauty, Victoria Forester. When a star falls from the sky, a disdainful Victoria promises Tristan his heart's desire if he will bring her that star. Tristan sets out on his quest, entering the realm of Faerie, and soon encounters a variety of fantastical denizens, both good and evil. Tristan is not the sole seeker of the star; a powerful witch-queen and the dark Lords of Stronghold also have their designs upon the fallen celestial body. This novel is at once a magical adventure, a charming love story and a fable about attaining one's heart's desire--which, in Gaiman's world, is seldom what one thinks it to be. Grounding his narrative in mythic tradition, Gaiman employs exquisitely rich language, natural wisdom, good humor and a dash of darkness to conjure up a fairy tale in the grand tradition. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Critically acclaimed for a reason
The prose is almost florid, the settings sketched out in a way that rightly assumes the reader has familiarity with standard fantasy fares and tropes; but the plot, with its beats only predictable enough to make a reader feel clever, is satisfying enough to keep the pages turning all the way to its fulfilling conclusion.
I do, however, feel as if there is a bit of that Gaiman sexism here; there is a female protagonist’s companion and object of affection, but she exercises nearly no agency of her own and is treated much as a prize or possession while justifying it all as a rescue.
This is an illustrated novel, but the version sold here is the text only. Not worth it...
This book was absolutely charming in every way. The characters and storyline were unique and interesting. The only complaint I have (well not even a complaint, but a comment) is that at parts of the journey that would have built the emotion between Yvain and Tristan he did what every elementary school writing teacher tells us not to do. He told instead of showing. Maybe I like my books a little too flowery, but he sometimes skipped over things I would have loved to read. But over all he writes beautifully and I would highly suggest this book.