The Starless Sea: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

If there is one book I could re-read for the first time, it would be Morgenstern's debut THE NIGHT CIRCUS. In this long-awaited follow up, you're taken once again into the depths of her imagination, this time on a journey unlike any other. To call this book complex would be an understatement. It twists and turns on several different paths that eventually meet in a land that exists for the love of story. This is a beautiful tribute to the love of books.

— Jamie

Readers long enchanted by THE NIGHT CIRCUS will be thrilled from the first page of THE STARLESS SEA. When Zachary Ezra Rawlins finds a mysterious book in his university library, he embarks on a sprawling, magical adventure that leads him from masquerade parties and secret societies to an underground world of pirates, sailors, and long-lost lovers. Nobody celebrates the power of storytelling like Erin Morganstern, who draws the reader into this story within a story within a story. This is a beautiful adventure reminiscent of the wondrous fairy tales of childhood, one I am eager to return to over and over again through the years.

— Beth


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.

About the Author

ERIN MORGENSTERN is the author of The Night Circus, a number-one national best seller that has been sold around the world and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in theater from Smith College and lives in Massachusetts.

Praise For…

"[S]weeping... an epic romance within a secret underground world of lost cities, handsome pirates, and endless puzzles to be solved."
⁠—Entertainment Weekly

"[A] gorgeously written epic love story, filled with magic and mystery.”

"Morgenstern's new fantasy epic is a puzzlebox of a book, full of meta-narratives and small folkloric tales that will delight readers... Morgenstern uses poetic, honey-like prose to tell a story that plays with the very concept of what we expect and want from our stories... She trusts her readers to follow along and speculate, wonder and make leaps themselves as she dives into tales of pirates, book burnings, and men lost in time, giving the book a mythic quality that will stick with readers long after they put it down."
⁠—Booklist (starred)

"This love letter to bibliophiles is dreamlike and uncanny, grounded in deeply felt emotion, and absolutely thrilling."
⁠—Publishers Weekly (starred)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385541213
ISBN-10: 038554121X
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019
Pages: 512