The Starless Sea

The Starless Sea

Book - 2019
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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 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 of 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.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780385541213
Branch Call Number: FANTASY MORGENST
Characteristics: 498 pages ; 25 cm


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Author of The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's voice is very stylized and dreamlike, but also utterly convincing. In this tale, Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a dedicated college student who once walked away from a painted door he thought about opening. Thereafter, the undiscovered possibilities have va... Read More »

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CMLibrary_DJeffrey Apr 17, 2021

I cannot comprehend the brain that can weave this many stories into one cohesive unit.

Apr 16, 2021

It is truly spectacular what can be made when creativity prospers, and The Starless Sea is proof. Erin Morgenstern's new novel is even more imaginative than her last ( The Night Circus). It is utterly confusing in the most wonderful way, and the entire novel is extremely detailed, be sure to pay attention. The story follows Zachary Ezra Rawlins through many doors and into a spectacular land that lies beyond. With new friends, and enemies, Zachary leads the story through worlds that are, or were, harbours dedicated to the spectacular art of storytelling. I highly recommend this to anyone longing a break from reality, because this novel is truly magical. 4 stars
@EcoGeek23 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

This one has wildly vivid, beautiful writing, but a plot that left me feeling cold and directionless through the pages.

Mar 25, 2021

I was unable to finish the last hundred pages, it was too bizarre and tedious.

Mar 25, 2021

Per Laura H.

Mar 16, 2021

As much as I loved the Night Circus by the same author, I found this novel to be confusing and strange. I had trouble getting into it, and found the plot line too jumbled. I was disappointed.

Mar 14, 2021

This is a heartfelt and creative novel. I have read The Night Circus (also by Erin Morgenstern), but I liked this one even better! It is a beautifully written and unique book. I love the imagination behind an underground world of stories! I highly recommend The Starless Sea

WPL_Erin Mar 12, 2021

Absolutely stunning novel. Morgenstern’s writing has an Alice in Wonderland dreamlike quality to it. Her storytelling is glamorous and languid and flows beautifully. I never wanted it to end!

Feb 22, 2021

Truly amazing!
Just the construction of this tale leaves me in awe of Ms Morgenstern. Putting it all together required a particular kind of genius.

This is a story that different people will get different things out of. It is well worth a read

Feb 14, 2021

I loved the Night. Circus, by this author. I found this previously written novel to go from initially interesting to ridiculous. 500 pages, and did not return to being an engaging story

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Add a Quote

"We are the stars," he answers, as though it is the most obvious of facts afloat in a sea of metaphors and misdirections. "We are all stardust and stories."

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 19, 2020

"She gave me an opaque plastic cup identical to the one I'd abandoned inside but with better bourbon in it, on the rocks.

I accepted because mysterious ladies offering bourbon under the stars is very much my aesthetic."

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 19, 2020

"But he's hardly looking at the book and barely eating his noodles. He sucks at subtlety. He's watching me write. Eyeing up my journal like he's trying to figure out how he's going to snag it when I'm not looking.

I'm always looking now.

You will pry this Adventure Time notebook from my cold dead hands, ya ding-dong."

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 19, 2020

"They asked if I thought he would have done something- like jumped-off-a-bridge something- and I said I didn't think so, but I also think most of us are two steps away from jumping off something most of the time and you never know if the next day is going to push you in one direction or another."

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 19, 2020

"'A book is an interpretation,' she says. 'You want a place to be like it was in the book but it's not a place in a book it's just words. The place in your imagination is where you want to go and that place is imaginary. This is real,' she places her hand on the wall in front of them. The stone is cracked near her fingers, a fissure running down the side and disappearing into a column. 'You could write endless pages but the words will never be the place.'"

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 19, 2020

"'We've been having adventures, Rhyme,' Mirabel says and the girl frowns. 'There was a daring rescue and bondage and tea and a fire and two-thirds of us got poisoned. Also, this is Zachary, Zachary this is Rhyme.'"

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 19, 2020

"A reading major, that's what he wants. No response papers, no exams, no analysis, just the reading."

IndyPL_MarianneK Oct 22, 2019

"To Seeking" "To Finding"


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Jan 11, 2021

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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