June 16, 2006

48 Hour Reading Contest: Through the Wall

A.Fortis is always waxing eloquent about the ever fey Neil Gaiman, so I am taking a detour from Pratchett-mania to see what he's all about. And a beautiful beginner's book to discovering Gaiman is Stardust.

Side-by-side, the people of Wall live with Faery. Only every eight years do their paths cross, at the Faire, when at midday the guards stand down, and folk from all over come to mingle and buy wishes and cures from the fey on the other side of the wall. The people of Wall are hard and bluff, the people of Faery have odd eyes, and a certain weirdness around their ears. Once, the two sides of the wall combined, and a baby was born. He was raised in Wall, but when a heartless dare sent him to catch a falling star, he crossed the line to take up his true roots. Only, he didn't know they were his true roots. He didn't know that stars weren't something you just picked up and took home. He also didn't know how infrequently stars fell, and how many others in Faery wanted to get their hands on one.

The witch-women wanted a star desperately. Fallen stars kept them young.
The remaining sons of the Lord of Stormhold needed the star to prove their right of ascension to Lordship, and to give them impetus to murder their remaining brothers.
Against the darker forces of faery, and against the bewildering tangle of the land itself, what chance does one, halfling boy have?

And what will it all have been worth, when he gets home?

1 comment:

a. fortis said...

I love this one, too. There's an illustrated version available with Charles Vess as the artist - very nice.