The Starless Sea

A Novel

Hardcover, 512 pages

English language

Published Sept. 11, 2019 by Doubleday.

ISBN:
9780385541213

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4 stars (8 reviews)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea. 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 …

1 edition

Review of 'The Starless Sea' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

It’s very good but I think Zachary would say it has too many side quests.

There’s something wonderfully perverse about a story this obsessed with stories. Like the distilled essence of one of those people who just loves tea and books, not to drink or read but as a part of their identity (and also to drink and read).

For whatever reason I miss Dishonored. It also has a shoutout to one of my favourite games in theory, Sunless Sea.

Review of 'The Starless Sea' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

This was everything I hoped it would be and more. I absolutely adored The Night Circus, so I was both eagerly anticipating The Starless Sea and waiting with some nervousness, because what if it didn't live up to my expectations? But it so, so did.

Morgenstern's second novel again has a lot of fantastical elements that border on magic, but this time it's all focused around a giant underground labyrinthine library of sorts, where stories are collected and created and lovingly cared for. Not just anyone is granted access to the Harbor, and those who stay are carefully vetted. Zachary Ezra Rawlins, the son of a fortune teller, is one of the few allowed—and it turns out, they had been expecting him.

What follows is a blend of fantasy and thriller (and a little romance), laced through with messages of the power of stories in our world and in …

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