Book cover from The Starless Sea: A Novel by Erin Morgenstern
Book cover 'The Starless Sea: A Novel'

The Starless Sea: A Novel

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Author(s): Erin Morgenstern
Format: Book › Hardcover all formats
Edition: First Edition
Published: 11-05-2019
ISBN: 038554121X
Pages: 512
Publisher: Doubleday
List Price: $28.95

Book description

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.

Book review

An Amazon Best Book of November 2019: Those of us who loved The Night Circus have waited nearly a decade for Erin Morgenstern’s next novel and The Starless Sea does not disappoint. In fact, Morgenstern’s enchanted touch with words and imagery, so vivid it’s impossible not to picture even the most delicate of details, is as exquisite as ever. The Starless Sea is a love letter to books and readers, a masterpiece of stories within a story where fables of pirates and princesses converge with the saga of Zachary Ezra Rawlins, the son of a fortune teller. A series of unusual events leads Rawlins to a secret repository of books and fairy tales, a place that contains worlds within time and somewhere a starless sea. Rawlins falls in love first with a book and later a person, both of which compel him to embark on a dangerous journey through time and place, lost loves, and lives lived again and again. I was delighted by Morgenstern’s nods to the beloved world-bending classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and—as I began to hope for in a book with many magical doors—Narnia. The Starless Sea reveals increasing layers of complexity as fiction and reality start to blend, and characters collide in surprising ways. I could go on and on about the beauty of Morgenstern’s writing, and the symbolism of the bee, the key, and the sword, but instead I will tell you that the night I finished this book I dreamt about it. And it was pure magic —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

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