''Stardust'' is a modern FairyTale written by Creator/NeilGaiman. The main plot centers around Tristran Thorn, a young man with a mysterious ancestry who wants nothing more than to win the heart of his beloved Victoria. When he grandly declares that he'd even give her that star in the sky that just fell, she challenges him to do just that in return for anything he wants from her.

The fallen star turns out to be a girl named Yvaine who isn't too keen on becoming Tristran's prize possession. The star's dislike of him becomes the least of Tristran's problems as he learns that he isn't the only one who wants the star, and that some of them have far more malicious designs on her, all in the name of beauty, power, and/or fame. Needless to say, the road back home is quite a long and eventful one, and that's ''before'' the [[TheReveal Reveals]] begin coming to light...

''Stardust'' was originally published in four parts by Creator/DCComics, lavishly illustrated by Charles Vess, before being collected into book form. It has also subsequently been published in a standard novel format without the illustrations.

In 2007, it [[Film/{{Stardust}} was adapted into a movie]]. In 2016, it had an AudioAdaptation for [[Creator/TheBBC BBC]] Radio 4.

If you're looking for the bizarre Golden Age superhero comic, go [[ComicBook/StardustTheSuperWizard here]]

!!''Stardust'' contains examples of:

* AbductionIsLove: Tristran starts out trying to force Yvaine to come back to England with him to show her to Victoria, then the two subsequently fall in love.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:The eldest of the Lilim]]. Played straight, as in quite a few of Gaiman's works. [[PlayingWithaTrope Played with]] in TheMovie (imagine the scene in the castle [[spoiler: of the witches, after Lamia's sisters die, and how the film would have ended if she truly were regretting it]])
* AnotherDimension: {{Faerie}}
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Tristran and Yvaine
* BeardlessProtectionProgram: Primus shaves his beard hoping that it'll make Septimus hesitate before killing him. We never get to learn whether or not it would have worked.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Stormholds ''really'' need some therapy.
* BilingualBonus: "Septimus" is obviously from the Latin for "7", but happens to also be close to the Greek for "poisonous".
* BittersweetEnding: The book could have had a HappilyEverAfter ending, but decides to explore what happens AFTER Happily Ever After. To quote ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', "If you go on long enough, [[spoiler:all stories end in death]]."
* CainAndAbel: The customary method of royal succession is that the last prince to survive FreeForAll fratricide among his brothers becomes the heir.
* CameFromTheSky: Yvaine
* CoolSword: One that is made of glass.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Yvaine and Victoria both go through it.
* DepartureMeansDeath: [[spoiler:If Tristran had taken Yvaine out of Faerie, she would have turned into a meteorite. Yvaine knew this and was prepared to step over the wall near the end of the book if Tristran didn't return her feelings and was still in love with Victoria Forester]].
* EngagementChallenge: Tristran's quest to find a star for Victoria. Its deconstruction is one of the plot points when Tristran realizes who he loves more.
* ExactWords: Victoria promises Tristran anything he desires, if he'll bring back a star for her. At the end of the book, he reminds her of this, and then goes on to say that what he desires is that she marry Robert Monday and be happy.
* TheFairFolk: Stormhold is just a kingdom within the LandOfFaerie.
* FalseSoulmate: Victoria to Tristran.
* FracturedFairyTale
* GateGuardian: The town of Wall appoints two of its citizens to watch the hole into Faerie to make sure none of the locals gets curious and wanders across.
* GenderBender: The goatherd chap gets this treatment.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Tristran, to an egregious degree. He has one human ear and one [[PointyEars pointy one]].
* TheHecateSisters: The Three Lilim.
* TheHedgeOfThorns: Literally it's a wall, not a hedge, but displays many features of this trope.
* HeroicBastard: Tristran, whose parents only knew each other for a single night. However, legitimacy doesn't seem to matter in [[spoiler: the succession to Stormhold]].
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:The Lilim's final attempt to capture Yvaine fails because of the charm the Lilim placed on Ditchwater Sal which made it impossible for Sal to notice Yvaine's presence.]]
* IGaveMyWord: One witch gives her word not to harm another, and keeps it -- but nevertheless manages to cause her considerable inconvenience.
* InadequateInheritor: All the sons of the late king... for not killing each other fast enough.
* InelegantBlubbering: When Tristran finds the star, her eyes are raw and red with weeping.
* InterspeciesRomance:
** Stars and humans. They can't have offspring.
** Faeries and humans. They ''can'' have offspring, Tristran himself being an example.
* IOweYouMyLife: Much to Yvaine's chagrin.
* {{Irony}}: There's a lot in the book.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: The Lilim gives up on the Star after her heart is no longer available for the taking, and simply goes back home with no comeuppance, with the unicorn's horn no less. Yvaine doesn't even bear her a grudge. (However, it's implied that without a Star heart to return their youth, the Lilim's powers will continue to fade until nothing is left of them.)]]
* KlingonPromotion: How the princes try to gain the throne...at their father's request.
* KnifeNut: The Witch Queen loves to stab people to death. [[spoiler: Even Unicorns.]]
* LandOfFaerie: The setting of most of the story.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Two witches competing for the star meet on the road and have a conversation, at the end of which one magically handicaps her competitor and wipes her memory of the encounter.
* LifeOrLimbDecision: Trapped with what is basically the most powerful witch ever and with no method of fighting back, Tristran uses the candle wax rapid traveling trick using a lace from his jerkin as the candle's wick; however the resulting candle is so small that he has to ''stick his hand in the fire'' to get it lit. [[spoiler:His hand never recovers enough to actually be useful again.]]
* LineageComesFromTheFather: Subverted.
* LongLostRelative: [[spoiler: Tristran's mother to the princes of Stormhold.]]
* LoserGetsTheGirl: Tommy Forester.
* MacGuffinTurnedHuman: Yvaine is the fallen star that the potential heirs to the throne, the witch trio, and the protagonist all need to retrieve. Of course, we know she's a star right from her introduction, and so does everybody else. The hero was a little slow on the uptake.
* MasterPoisoner: Septimus, whom the text notes is "one of Nature's poisoners".
* MayDecemberRomance: [[spoiler:Robert Monday and Victoria Forester]]. This is actually foreshadowed and played with early on, but quickly buried beneath the main plot.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: [[spoiler:Yvaine and Tristran.]]
* MundaneFantastic: Magic is treated very casually, even by Tristran. In fact, he inherited the family talent for locating things quite strongly himself and has no issue using candlewax and a nursery rhyme to psuedo teleport.
* NatureTinkling: The short man is implied to have pooped on a tree, then Tristran urinates on it.
* NobodyPoops: Averted. Several characters are described going about their business.
* NoManOfWomanBorn: [[spoiler:Tristran's mother]] is to be released when the moon loses her daughter, if it happens in a week where two Mondays come together. What fulfills the conditions is that [[spoiler:a star (a daughter of the moon) gave her heart entirely to Tristran the week Mr. Monday and Victoria Forester got married (Victoria becomes a Monday)]]. The chain breaks at the moment that this happens. It is hinted that Tristran's conception and birth was part of a GambitRoulette to achieve this end.
* NoNameGiven: The witch-queens. Their names were lost when Carnadine sank beneath the sea, though the eldest uses the alias Morwanneg, which means "wave of the sea".
* NoOntologicalInertia: Billy turns back into a goat after being headbutted by the unicorn.
* NumericalThemeNaming: The children of the Lord of Stormhold, Primus, Secundus, ... [[NumericalThemeNaming and so on]].
* NurseryRhyme: Nursery rhymes contain great secrets. One character jeers at the way ordinary people recite them to babies.
* TheObstructiveLoveInterest: Victoria.
* OneWordTitle: Also a {{Portmantitle}}.
* PhosphorEssence: Yvaine glows more brightly the happier she is. Yvaine herself is not particularly powerful; however, her heart is, and the brighter she is, the more powerful her heart is.
* {{Portmantitle}}: A combination of "Star" and "Dust".
* PrecisionFStrike: When Yvaine falls into Stormhold and is in pain from what caused her to fall from the sky.
* RagsToRoyalty
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld / TimeAbyss: Lots of characters are much older than physically possible. The eighty-first Lord of Stormhold is supposed to be hundreds years old, Yvaine is a star, and the Lilim are [[TimeAbyss just as old as the WHOLE WORLD.]]
* RelationshipReboot: Tristran and Yvaine do this.
* RoadTripRomance
* RoyalBlood: [[spoiler:Tristran.]]
* SacredHospitality: When one witch pledges to treat another as if she were her guest, the other takes it as a perfect promise.
* ScienceDestroysMagic: The more civilized our world becomes, the fewer links it has to the other world.
* SelfDisposingVillain: [[spoiler:There are two major villains, who effectively and elegantly dispose of each other when the heroes aren't even around.]]
* ShockAndAwe: Although not a superpower, it is still a weapon.
* ShoutOut: A subtle one to one of [[ComicBook/TheSandman Gaiman's other works]]
--> Then Death came in the night and whispered her secret into the ear of the eighty-second Lord of Strormhold, and he nodded his grey head and said nothing...
** In addition, stars being people in one realm and celestial bodies in another is hearkened back to in ''Endless Nights''.
** A rather nasty one ([[FiveSecondForeshadowing whether in context]] or out of it) to ''Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner'':
--> Outside there was a gust of wind, and the fire flared up green and blue and white.
:: : Or, as Coleridge put it:
--> About, about, in reel and rout\\
The death-fires danced at night;\\
The water, like a witch's oils,\\
Burnt green, and blue and white.
* SpoiledSweet: Victoria is a mild example since she's genuinely a stuck-up brat who is sweet to Tristran more out of pity than any strong feelings toward him. However, she ends up sincerely guilty and sorry when Tristran ends up fulfilling the promise to her that she never expected him to keep, and is actually ready to fulfill her end of the bargain too. She also acts as a friend to Yvaine for the one brief time they meet.
* StayOnThePath: Anyone who strays from the path through the Serewood will fall victim to murderous plants.
* StealthPun: The name of the young dullard who owns the goat is Brevis. Think about what action goats are known for...
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Pretty Tristran realises [[spoiler:his love for the most beautiful girl that he left home was shallow and meaningless]] when he returns.
* SuccessionCrisis: The whole reason for the shitty way the princes of Stormhold treat each other. Resolved when [[spoiler:all the princes kick the bucket and Tristran is revealed to be the son of their sister and therefore the last remaining male heir.]]
* TalkingInYourDreams: Tristran is asked, in his dream, to keep down the noisiness of his dream.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Septimus.
* TechnicolorFire: One witch recognizes the fire of another, because [[Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner witches' fires burn strange colors.]]
* TeleportersAndTransporters: Babylon candles, the Castle society's hinted-at signature move.
* ThresholdGuardians: Two of 'em, hired by the town to keep folk out of the Wall.
* TooDumbToLive: Billy the goat, making it justified in this specific case. Enchanted into human form, it tries to headbutt a unicorn. Think about that one for a second.
** DyingAsYourself [=/=] NoOntologicalInertia
* TheVerse: Shared with Literature/AmericanGods, though you'd only know it by reading ''Wall: A Prologue''.
* TheWallAroundTheWorld: The wall in the village of Wall.
* WhenTreesAttack: Tristran gets in trouble with a hostile part of the forest early in his trip beyond the Wall.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The ending of the book: [[spoiler:After Tristran dies of old age, Yvaine is left to live in a place far from the home to which she can never return, without the man she loves, forever.]]
** Perhaps not ''so'' far...consider this: Stormhold Castle is the place from which [[spoiler:the eighty-first lord threw the Power of Stormhold to knock Yvaine out of the sky in the first place. Given how high the book states her preferred tower reaches into the sky, she might be able to appreciate from afar or even commune with her former people.]]