This is a work of fantasy by the same author who brought us the excellent Sand Man 'comic books'. It's in something of the same tone, being a fairy tale set in a mythical almost-Earth of the last Middle Ages where magic works and people fear the night because evil stalks the darkness. It's about a quest, of course, but manages to steer clear of the overly serious, dry-as-bones nature of works like Raymond Fiest's Magician.
Gaiman's work tends to be an easy read, with workable characters and well-paced plots. I suspect that this one's written for a young adult audience, but it was a good read.