“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” –C.S. Lewis
In his acknowledgements at the end of this book, Neil Gaiman alludes to this C.S. Lewis quote, and it is appropriate for this particular fairy tale, which is at once childlike and also possesses a deep wisdom and maturity at its core.
It is the coming of age story of a young man who finds his true Heart’s Desire and his destiny, though not where he would expect it. In fact, as in many tales like these, it is the journey itself that reveals to him what his heart’s desire truly is, and also forms him into the kind of man who can walk into his own destiny.
Filled with fantastic encounters in the beautiful and perilous world of Faery, Stardust is the kind of book that inspires awe and wonder again at the numinous all around us, perhaps hidden just around the next corner, if we care to look with open eyes and a thirst for adventure.