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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  3,854 ratings  ·  653 reviews
Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times bestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Let your mind be like the eye of the hawk…Destined from birth to serve as protector of t
Hardcover, 587 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Tor Books
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Erykah Rose During an author's chat in July of 2018, Carey made it very clear that Starless wasn't the start of any series and is very much a stand-alone work.…moreDuring an author's chat in July of 2018, Carey made it very clear that Starless wasn't the start of any series and is very much a stand-alone work.(less)

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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,854 ratings  ·  653 reviews

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Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 "delicate, gorgeous, fierce" stars !!!

4th Favorite Read of 2020

I have spent a few months with this tome. Reading it slow. Savoring the landscapes and seascapes, being a follower on an epic quest, wondrously conversing with the gods and godesses, laughing with these very special but also ordinary companions, relishing the beautiful but simple prose and experiencing emotions both mundane and sacred.

Ms. Carey has created a fantasy novel of slow sheer perfection. She has infused this novel with
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copy, fantasy, epic
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m a huge fan of Jacqueline Carey and will read anything she writes no matter the genre or subject, but I do believe she is in her element whenever she tackles epic fantasy because the format lends itself well to her style. Hence, I was so excited when I found out about Starless. Carey is a master worldbuilder who has also written some of my favorite characters of all time, and I feel that opportunities like these are w
Patrick St-Denis
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
As you know, I feel like a complete idiot for having waited for so long to finally give Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels a shot. Now that I've read and fell in love with the first two trilogies, I was getting ready to start the third series. But when I learned that she had a stand-alone book titled Starless getting published this spring, I elected to read that one instead.

Understandably, I had high hopes for this one. And although Starless begins in a way that makes it impossible to put down, s
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
So, it wasn't a horrible book, and there were a few key components I really liked, but compared to her other works and YA Fantasy in general, I found it a major struggle to get through. Dang. RTC ...more
Scott  Hitchcock

If you like YA I think you'll like this more than I did. The book started out well and had a couple of nice twists. However the plot was simple and one of the main characters drove me crazy always calling her counterpart My Heart, My Darling, My This and My That. In the end the second half was a slog for me.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review from Tenacious Reader:

I have to say, Starless is one of those books that pulled me in very quick. The story is about a world where the children of the main god were all cast down to live among the mortals, and with them, all the stars in the sky were gone as well, changing the night sky. The role of gods in this interesting. They all have unique qualities and rule over specific domains. The people in those domains become well acquainted with their
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
A standalone fantasy novel split internally into three parts, the first two of which were excellent but let down by a mediocre final act.

After Khai was selected at birth to be the Shadow of Princess Zariya of the Ageless, he was raised by the Brotherhood of Pahrkun as an elite bodyguard and warrior to protect Zariya. Shadow and Sunblessed have occurred many times through history, but there's a prophecy that states that one such pair will one day defeat the ultimate darkness.

The first part of thi
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
7/17 This epic fantasy has steady pacing and evocative prose, but is disappointingly conventional.

Full RTC
There’s nothing wrong with this book.
It’s a YA.
It’s long.
It’s high fantasy.
It’s not holding my attention.
DNF 30% No Rating
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
***Insert clever pun about the numbers of stars in my rating vs. the number of stars in the title*** I've read a lot of Carey's works with fluctuating degrees of enjoyment, and I am sad to say that Starless is nowhere near my favorite by her. From the characters, to the journey, the entire story feels one dimensional and dry, leading to a one and a half month read time accomplished at the end by shear will instead of climatic pull.

I think Carey has on her hands a fascinating world. I really enj
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
First off, this was an interesting reading experience because I was simultaneously rereading another of Carey’s books, Kushiel’s Dart, as part of a read along project for the reddit r/fantasy community (details here). Because of that, I definitely picked up on some common threads between that book and Starless, even though they’re both very different books. Still, this review is about Starless, so that’s what I’ll focus on.

Carey’s prose is lush and beautiful, as always, and it serves to breathe
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Yashima by: Barnes & Noble 2018 SF List
A wonderful story about two persons born in the same moment destined to be "soul twins" and finding their destiny amidst a dire prophecy coming to pass. While I generally do not like a lot of prophetic fore-shadowing JC has never disappointed in her ability to weave this seamlessly into the story. However, this book is dominated so much by prophecy that even with her ability to make it palatable I was a little over it by the end.

The story Khai and Zariya is wonderfully told and I enjoyed every s
A looooonnnnnggggg story about two young people chosen by gods, to fight another god. The story is divided up into parts, with the first being about Khai's schooling in being a formidable killer. The second is where Khai meets her bonded "twin" Zariya, the youngest daughter of a King. The final parts concern Khai's and Zariya's attempt to fight the god, by first getting involved with pirates and a select number of other individuals also chosen by other gods for the same fight (how fortuitous!) A ...more
Have you ever had a moment of nostalgia for David Eddings and found yourself thinking, “Man, I wish I could revisit that part of my childhood, but I bet it’s been visited by the suck fairy?” Then Carey is here for you. Starless has all the capital-P-prophecies and broad-brush cultural worldbuilding of a 90s fantasy doorstopper with none of the sexism. Relax, channel your inner twelve year old, and enjoy the ride.
Do not fear Carey fans! You will love. All the Carey you love, remixed to excellent effect. Link to full review here: ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This stand alone fantasy tale was an old school coming of age epic fantasy story. It mixed action, adventure, intrigue, romance, and plenty of fantasy magic to decent effect! It also really helped that the story had a few twists on the typical set up and that gave the story a more modern feel.

The fantasy world and the story were both fun. The children of the Sun God have been cast from the Sky in shame and now live among the humans leaving the sky a starless place. The youngest of the Gods, Mia
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Gods walk the earth...but only a mortal can save it."

This is my first Jacqueline Carey novel. I grabbed it from the "new release" section at my library thinking that it would be nice to read a stand-alone novel before diving into the Kushiel's Legacy series that has been on my to-read shelf for years. I didn't realize until I started reading that it was a YA. I've read lots of YA books in the past but they've been getting on my nerves more recently. This one seems to be on the older end of YA w
Amanda Van Parys
I just ... Okay, I'm going to try and quickly sum up my feelings about this book:

I considered a DNF on this which is a shame because I truly love Carey and she is for sure one of my top favorite authors - but sometimes your favorites just don't hit the mark.

There were certainly elements of this book that I loved, but overall, I didn't enjoy this book and really struggled to get through it. Honestly, I need to start listening more to that DNF voice in my head when it starts creeping up because I
Sotiris Karaiskos
I'm particularly liking this author for her series on Kushiel's Universe , this book seems to follow the style and pattern of the three trilogies of that series in a more compressed form. We have the story of a child trained in the martial arts to able to take on a very important mission, which is to preserve the life of a princess born the same day, which means that they are united with the bonds of fate. As in the series I mentioned above, we are following the course from childhood to adulthoo ...more
Eric Linnell
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Superb world building and character development. Even with such great bones, I felt the story frequently lacked the urgency to engage me to the extent I had hoped.
Samantha W.
I'm really rating this at a 3.5 and I'm holding onto all of my thoughts because we're still meeting for book club! ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
decent but lacking the spark of the Kushiel series as the narrator and the universe are not that interesting, but the writing is still beautiful and kept me engaged until the end
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I adored Starless. It was everything I was craving from Carey and more. You know how you have those nostalgia reads that you know you can't re-visit because they wouldn't hold up to the light of day? Jacqueline Carey is not one of those. She is still the epic fantasy giant I remember and her books enthrall me even more so. ...more
Shannon the Book Dragon
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read with a diverse cast of characters. I love the representation of a non-binary main character, as well as how strong the disabled character was, she was so inspiring and lovely and I loved their interactions greatly.

I wasn't sure going in how I felt about the idea of Gods being present beings walking the earth but man, was my mind changed. Each god was handled so well and fit so well into the world that you really got a feel for how large and powerful they were, and how rev
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5. Although this was definitely a long book, that wasn’t the part that drove my rating. I do think it could have been shorter, but it was definitely written very beautifully. I think my main hang ups were that nothing overly stood out. There weren’t any plot twists that blew my mind (although there were some). I honestly didn’t overly enjoy any of the characters and one of the characters downright annoyed me most of the time. The premise and world were so unique and although written v ...more
Nina Carboni
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent!!!! Excellent fantasy. I was a bit wary of reading this bc I tried to read Namaah’s Kiss and I didn’t like it but I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is tight and concise but still somehow imparts incredible world building and deep characters. I loved that this is a stand-alone and even if she continues with these characters in this world the story is complete. This is a huge relief bc I am loathe to start and then inevitably pine for subsequent installments of yet another series 😫 ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So good! I can't speak to the trans representation, but the story and characters were mesmerizing. :) ...more
musa b-n
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was in LOVE with this book! It was extremely beautiful fantasy, with excellent world-building and myth-making, which is my favorite type of book. I also thought it was pretty innovative in terms of character and plot - I didn't feel like I could predict where it would go, and I thought it departed from typical band-of-hero narratives.

I especially loved the depictions of the gods. I really want to do a series of animations based on all the godly interactions. The scenes were stunning and reall
Cari Hunter
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I love a good epic quest through a world filled with gods, and monsters, and darkness threatening to consume the lot. Unfortunately, the damn quest in Starless is shoehorned into the last third of the novel with the first section devoted to a painstaking account of hero Khai's desert-based training to become a warrior worthy of protecting his soul-twin Princess Zariya, and the second to a dull as dishwater spell with Zariya and her family at the palace.

Anyone familiar with Carey's work will kno
Amanda Kratz
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.

I really really loved the first 1/3 with Kahi training in the desert. The world building and mythology of the land is superb! Seriously some of the best world building I’ve seen in a stand alone novel. I loved the characters introduced here, I loved he training methods, I loved the desert culture. Everything. I could have just read about the brotherhood the entire book and been blissfully happy. However prophecies being what they are that typically requires a bit of t
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: July 2018 - Starless by Jacqueline Carey 93 90 Jul 11, 2018 09:26AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jacqueline Carey (born 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois) is an author and novelist, primarily of fantasy fiction.

She attended Lake Forest College, receiving B.A.'s in psychology and English literature. During college, she spent 6 months working in a bookstore as part of a wo

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