Tristran Thorn is a young man in love, and young men in love often make crazy promises. One night, Tristran and his beloved Victoria see a star fall from the sky, and Victoria says she will give Tristran anything he desires only if he can find the fallen star and bring it back to her. The star has fallen in the land of Faerie, and Tristran sets off on a magical journey where he encounters an unexpected friend. He does indeed find the star, which turns out to be a beautiful young woman. Tristran is unprepared for this encounter and is unprepared for the fact that he is not the only person in pursuit of the fallen star. The star needs his protection, but this strange land is new for Tristran so he can only rely on his instincts to bring them both to safety.
I really like Neil Gaiman, but this just is not my favorite of his works. I really liked the storyline and the imagery, but the plot seemed a little unbalanced to me. It started very slowly, and then it seemed like all of the action was packed into the last 75 pages or so. But this is really my only complaint. It's hard not to be mesmerized by talking trees, unicorns, and evil witches. I read this book out loud to my husband (who is a huge Sandman fan), and he was a little bored at the beginning too, but we both were believers in Faerie by the end.
Stardust is a rather short book intended for ages 13 and up, so it's a pretty quick read (unless you're reading aloud...then it's a little longer), but just so you know, there is a fairly graphic sex scene in the first part of the novel, so it may not be appropriate for all teens. Overall, though, I'd say Stardust is a shining star of a book (sorry...I couldn't help myself)! :)