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The Starless Sea

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  47,335 ratings  ·  11,330 reviews
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra
Hardcover, 498 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Doubleday Books
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  47,335 ratings  ·  11,330 reviews

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Lisa Lynch
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
"How are you feeling?" Zachary asks.

"Like I am losing my mind, but in a slow, achingly beautiful sort of way." (p.288)

Funny, I felt the exact same way while reading this book.

So, Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea is the highly anticipated follow up to The Night Circus (which, I admit, I haven't read). I won an ARC of this book from my library's summer reading program and, after reading the synopsis, I could not wait to jump in.

I think that most people who read The Starless Sea will love it
Chaima ✨ شيماء
Its a profoundly strange thingto feel as though you are wading through mildly entertaining novels that pass through you like falling smoke, always searching for the one that reaches into the back alleys of your soul and settles to the bottom of you like fallen leaves.

And then there it is, like a faint spark bobbing on a dark sea, calling you, beckoning.

The dark-throated bliss of it is like what all the books youve ever read have been aspiring to be, the scales of what is good, great, and
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2019
This book is a love letter to stories and storytelling, myths and fables, symbols and imagination. This was haunting and magical, foreboding and whimsical in a way only Erin Morgenstern can achieve. This is a story in which something new can be discovered every time you read it. Breathtaking.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
loveddddd 4.5
my apologies to my copy of this book (i keep jumping on it in the hopes its pages will suddenly open up and i'll find myself in the Starless Sea).

full review:


Someone PLEASE procure me a striking, modern, big-city apartment with lots of windows, where I can hold a glass of expensive wine and gaze unseeing over the skyline at night, because apparently Im going to feel melancholy for the rest of my life over never again being able to read this
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites

i know for a fact that this book wont be everyones cup of tea (morgensterns writing style is an acquired taste), but it sure is mine.

this quenches my thirst for a story that was meant to be told, a love letter to the art of storytelling, as well as the stories we find ourselves in. it is an ode to those who write their own paths in life. and there is an aromatic intimacy to this that can only be created when such words are so
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
I waited the book for months and months, also named myself as Vladimir who is waiting for Godot forever! Of course my request stays at the NetGalley limbo space with other thousands of my requests doing boogie dance together. (I dont want to visualize them dusted, positioned at the bookshelves kind of purgatory!) So as a patient reading, high five-d myself for releasing day (actually I slapped my nose, I couldnt do a proper high five for years and always missing the other persons hand or always ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
I did not enjoy this at all. Pretentious, confusing and jumping through time to make no sense whatsoever..I feel like I wasted a reading week. All my anticipated releases have been flops this year.

Now what is this book about? Honestly your guess is as good as mine. There was a hint of some love stories but they were so muddled into everything else that was pointless and made no sense so who knows.

The plot got lost, the writing style was so saturated in metaphors and description I got bored and
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Just got my hands on an ARC!!

Can't wait to read it :D
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Finishes book.

"I'm getting this book tattooed all over my body, mind and soul."

2019 really saved the best for last. 8 years was fucking worth it.

Full review to come.




a bee,
a key,
and a sword.

"I thought I was writing a book about books, but as it turns out I was writing a book about stories."

No words. Nothing. I just
Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |
Amy Imogene Reads
This is a masterpiece. This is flawless. This is the kind of book that comes along once in a decade. This cracks the foundations.

Imagery: ★★★★★
Concepts: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★

Erin Morgenstern is not for everyone. Her writing is for those who love the story for the sake of the story. The lyrical, meandering, and existential prose is not the standard format, and it takes no prisoners. If it's not for you, it's not for you.

Normally, I try to make some sort of sense in my review. Talk
amy ☂︎
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs, 2020
Reading an Erin Morgenstern book is like dreaming with your eyes open. There's something so profoundly beautiful about The Starless Sea that I don't really know how to put into words, but I'm going to try regardless, because if I can make even one person give this book a chance, I have accomplished my mission.

Strange, isnt it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are.

This book tells the story of Zachary Ezra
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNFed @ 56%

The writing is so abstract that I couldn't take it anymore! And the problem is I expected that, I wanted that, but it was just SO MUCH!
I'm so sad right now, I really wanted to love this 😭

I feel this was a cheap copy of The Shadow of the Wind, even The Ten Thousand Doors of January to me was similar and better than this.

I'm gonna crawl into a hole and cry myself to sleep now!
May 28, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I always imagine Erin Morgenstern's books like paintings. She is that good as describing things.
Charlotte May
Am I confused as heck? Yes.

But was this book the most incredibly magical, moving, imaginative and absolutely immersive gem Ive read in a long time? Also yes.

I enjoyed this so much more than The Night Circus!

"We are all stardust and stories."

Ok, where do I begin? I can honestly say I've never read anything like this book before.
Zachary Ezra Rawlings finds a book in the library that isn't catalogued and becomes curious. Once he begins reading 'Sweet Sorrows' he discovers a world beyond his
Merphy Napier
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, four-stars, adult
Here's my video review
Sean Barrs The Ultra Vegan

Seven years ago I read a fantastic book called The Night Circus and it helped me fall in love with books and fantasy. I can still recall most of the novel vividly. And Id almost given up hope that the author would write another novel, then I found out about this!

I'm so damn EXCITED about it. Only one year to go and then I can read it! I really hope she delivers it with the same skill so I can rave about it on here.
Helena of Eretz ✰
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, urban-fantasy
"An inn that once sat at one crossroads now rests at another, ... somewhere deeper and darker where few will ever find it, by the shores of the Starless Sea."

I just think that perhaps Erin Morgenstern isn't the author for me. Does she write well? Yes. But do her books interest me? I'm sad to say that the answer is no. Both books that I've picked up from her had AMAZING synopses. But the plots just fell flat. Admittedly, this book has a much faster plot than The Night Circus, but I just wasn't
No rating yet, because I am still processing. I liked it, but I also didn't? Better review is coming. Those of you who have gotten around to it- what do you think?
Nov 09, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Nov 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am SO disappointed.

Bee. Sword. Story. Door. Doorknob. Someone doing something somewhere but loses someone. Owls. Honey. Sea. Bees. Swords. Cats. Stories. Fragments. Smart literary references haha. Bees. Swords. The moon. Clueless boring gay character gets lost, does nothing, stumbles, regrets everything, has no spine. Insta-love - why? He took my hand then lost it. Sea. Trinkets. Books, ribbons, lost, what, maim someone randomly. Hate for no reason. Kitchen. What? Swords. The fortune tellers
Emily May
Apr 22, 2019 marked it as lost-interest
Shelves: fantasy, arc

ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🌊
Amalia Gavea
''Far beneath the surface of the earth, hidden from the sun and the moon, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. Stories written in books and sealed in jars and painted on walls. Odes inscribed onto skin and pressed into rose petals. Tales laid in tiles upon the floors, bits of plot hung from chandeliers. Stories cataloged and cared for and revered. Old stories preserved while new stories spring up around them.''

I don't
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This ReviewBlog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

Actual rating: 4.25 stars

Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.

★ I picked up the above quote because it sums up my experience with this book! This book is definitely not for everyone. It was initially not even for me, I picked it up at a bad time and I was physically and mentally tired and just kept falling asleep. I was not a fan of The Night Circus and so
Raeleen Lemay
Nov 11, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2019
dnf around 30%
Ugh what a chore


a new book from Erin Morgenstern... After all these years?

Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I dont freaking know how I feel. I need to listen to the audio!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
When I started reading The Starless Sea, I was blown away. I read through stories of pirates and girls in forests, of key holders and sword sellers, Fate, Time, the Moon, and some dude named Zach. The stories were intoxicating, like I was floating around in some hypnotic, dream-like daze, breathing in all of these beautiful short stories. They were beautifully written, imaginative little pieces of art, all smushed together and delicately held in place.

But somewhere in my drunken haze, the magic
Lucy Langford
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange, isnt it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are.


This was beautiful and lyrical and poetic. It was filled with adventure, myth and fairytale- an ode to storytelling, story lovers and creating your own stories. Erin Morgenstern has the unique ability to transport me to another place with her writing; it was magic.

This book had mystery and the stories are used to uncover each and every part of my
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
The confession first. I finished this novel some time ago, but was unable to decide how to rate it. For this was just a good book which I finished for its beautiful prose, however, fantasy has never got deep into my heart, hence I can't rave about The Starless Sea.
I think I belong to the readers who enjoy some fantasy plus a plot, and while reading I received very little of the latter, which was why it took me a long time to read this novel and not enjoy it as much as some of my GR Friends did.
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
Its difficult to sum up a novel that has made a home in your heart and mind and will reside there for a lifetime. I began The Starless Sea, thinking it would be another whimsical and atmospheric novel written by Erin Morgenstern but quickly fell head over heels for its likeness to The Shadow of the Wind, another favorite novel of mine. Both of these stories share a deep love for words and the stories created in our minds, and the love for books and how they can change us forever is at the ...more
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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.

Articles featuring this book

Well, here we all are, sheltering in place, buying canned beans, and generally trying to figure out how to stay inside and keep our minds busy....
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“Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are. It’s nice to finally have someone read stories I know so intimately.” 240 likes
“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.” 180 likes
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