Stardust by Neil Gaiman.
Originally published in comic form by DC Comics in 1997. Copy I read was published without Charles Vess's illustrations in 2001.
Thorndike Press: Thorndike, Me by arrangement with Avon Books/HarperCollins.

In Stardust Tristran Thorn, half faerie and raised by father and stepmother, foolishly vows to retrieve a fallen star for love. He travels the lands of the faerie on his quest for the star. Events are complicated by the sons of Stormhold's competition to gain something from the star in order to receive rule of their kingdom and a witch's desire to own the star's heart. Tristran's purpose is to prove himself worthy of the most beautiful girl of Wall (his town). He does so on his quest, but also learns more about love and life on his journeys.

The story is a rather different faerie tale. Though I'm not partial to faerie tales, I did like some aspects of the story. Yvaine, the fallen star's character, and her persistence in sabotaging Tristran's quest. The Lilim, 3 witch women with great power. The eldest transforms herself and sets off to claim Yvaine's heart. Lady Ulna, the long missing daughter of the king of Stormhold, who is held as a slave to Madame Semele, a less powerful witch. Lady Ulna is kept as a multi-colored bird when her services are not needed. The interactions between the characters with their separate goals, unknown to each other.

The writing style of this book is different from Neil Gaiman's other books. Having read American Gods, I was less impressed. The writing is not as elegant. But it is enjoyable in its own way.

related-exploration of love, freedom, faerie stories

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