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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern #BookReview

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

Book cover for The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Starless Sea| Author: Erin Morgenstern| Publisher: Doubleday Books | Pub. Date: 5 Nov 2019|Length: 498 pages | IBSN:  9780385541213| Genre: Fantasy| Language: English | Triggers: NA| Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source:

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The Starless Sea Review

Magical, unique and charming, just the way I like my fantasy.

When I saw the opportunity to receive an ALC for The Starless Sea I honestly could not have been more excited. I only recently read The Night Circus and I was so in love with the whole story I just needed a trip back into Morgenstern’s unique brain and world. Morgenstern’s writing is so incredibly individual and I can totally understand why her books could be marmite, but I’m loving this marmite and I will forever just want more and more upon my toast. This book is truly a love story to all books.

Now, I am not going to lie, this book is seriously confusing. It is books within books, adventure within adventure, past to present, character to character, and so keeping your feet on the ground at times can feel difficult – seriously though, don’t leave the room because who knows where you may end up, and this is the main reason why I won’t be giving this book five stars. It wasn’t until I maybe got to the half way mark that I actually decided I was enjoying the book, beyond my initial bafflement and confusion. But I will say, that it is seriously worth continuing for the intrigue and mystery and the brilliant story woven around the confusion. I don’t feel like I was quite so connected to the characters within this book as The Night Circus, I felt like I was a step back from this story, observing more the broader and bigger picture than becoming quite so attached to individuals.

I didn’t love The Starless Sea quite as much as The Night Circus, but it really was a wonderful fantastical story, and I am so excited for whatever Morgenstern creates next.

Four giant bee shaped stars.

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on GoodReads. Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inAudiobooksBook ReviewsFantasy Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

One Comment

  1. I’ve picked up this book (metaphorically or physically) several times, and then put it down again when I remembered that I gave up on the Night Circus. My problem with it is much as you describe for this book. So maybe we are polar opposites, and I would like this. I must give it a go, I think.

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