Stardust is a modern Fairy Tale written by Neil Gaiman. 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 Reveals begin coming to light...Stardust was originally published in four parts by DC Comics, 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 was adapted into a movie.
Stardust contains examples of:
Abduction Is Love: 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.
Alas, Poor Villain: The eldest of the Lilim. Played straight, as in quite a few of Gaiman's works. Played with in The Movie (imagine the scene in the castle of the witches, after Lamia's sisters die, and how the film would have ended if she truly were regretting it)
Departure Means Death: 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.
Engagement Challenge: Tristran's quest to find a star for Victoria. Its deconstruction is one of the plot points when Tristran realizes who he loves more.
Genre Savvy: When Primus comes into a town, he pays for lodging, brings his own food and his own drink, which he keeps an eye on (his brother loves using poison), and pays numerous vagabonds, children, and street rats to report to him if they see a person looking like his brother. He then sets passage on a ship, sells his horses and prepares to leave when one boy informs him when man matching his brother's description enters town. Primus enters his cabin on the ship and says not to be disturbed for any reason. Septimus proceeds to sign up as a sailor and get a man drunk enough that he injures himself. Septimus then signs himself up as a sailor on the ship his brother is on, as it leaves, with no one telling Primus because he asked not to be bothered. Primus watches the ship leave, as he had sneaked out, shaved his beard, and bought his horses back, opting to travel on land instead.
Karma Houdini: 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.)
Klingon Promotion: How the princes try to gain the throne...at their father's request.
Knife Nut: The Witch Queen loves to stab people to death. Even Unicorns.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: 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.
Life or Limb Decision: 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. His hand never recovers enough to actually be useful again.
Mundane Fantastic: 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.
Nobody Poops: Averted. Several characters are described going about their business.
No Man of Woman Born: 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 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 Gambit Roulette to achieve this end.
No Name Given: 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".
Then Death came with 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.
Spoiled Sweet: 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.
Stay on the Path: Anyone who strays from the path through the Serewood will fall victim to murderous plants.
Stealth Pun: The name of the young dullard who owns the goat is Brevis. Think about what action goats are known for...
Stranger in a Familiar Land: Pretty Tristran realises his love for the most beautiful girl that he left home was shallow and meaningless when he returns.
Stupid Evil: If the Lilim hadn't decided that she just had to try poisoning Tristran and killing Primus for no apparent reason then she could have succeeded at her goal right then. She needed the star, Primus needed the topaz that she carried. The Lilim had no idea who they even were at that point.
Succession Crisis: The whole reason for the shitty way the princes of Stormhold treat each other. Resolved when all the princes kick the bucket and Tristran is revealed to be the son of their sister and therefore the last remaining male heir.
When Trees Attack: Tristran gets in trouble with a hostile part of the forest early in his trip beyond the Wall.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: The ending of the book: 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 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.