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The Starless Sea

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  9,155 ratings  ·  2,755 reviews
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
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Doubleday Books
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,155 ratings  ·  2,755 reviews

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Chaima ✨ شيماء
It’s a profoundly strange thing—to 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 you’ve 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.
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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Just got my hands on an ARC!!

Can't wait to read it :D
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 don’t 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 couldn’t do a proper high five for years and always missing the other person’s hand or ...more
wait.........MULTIPLE beautiful covers????

someone take mercy on me




hello i would like to read this now please. 2019 is not going to work for me thank you
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
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 |
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.
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

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 I’d 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.
Nov 09, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Amy Imogene Reads
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a masterpiece. This is flawless. This is the kind of book that comes along once in a decade. This cracks the foundations.


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. I try to tell you about
Chelsea Humphrey
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Doubleday Books
3 stars for the story + 5 stars for the audio = 4 star overall rating

Obviously that's not real math, but hey, I'm a bookworm not an engineer.

If I had picked up my print copy of this and gone to town, The Starless Sea would have likely been a DNF within the first 100 pages. The story is full of lush imagery and gorgeous prose, but included less of the stories within the story (bookception?) then I was expecting. However, tuning into the audiobook I found the story brought an ethereal quality
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!
Emily May
Apr 22, 2019 marked it as lost-interest
Shelves: arc, fantasy

ARC provided in exchange for honest review
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?

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?
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
Lucy Langford
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”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.”


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
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
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aaaaaand take 2 was def a success!

Actual rating: 4.25 stars
Full RTC...
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
It’s 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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I don’t freaking know how I feel. I need to listen to the audio!!

Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Can I go ahead and label this as my new favorite book?


Too early?

Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
"Everyone wishes to grasp that which exists out of reach. To hold the extraordinary in their hands and keep the remarkable in their pockets."

A love letter to storytelling in all its forms, The Starless Sea is stunningly crafted with magic that will sweep you away into a fairytale. I'm completely in love with this masterpiece and already want to re-read it. If you love books that come together slowly, with lots of puzzle pieces, doors to other worlds, rich symbolism, deep mythology, and a
may ❀
this was just, magical ...more
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just reread “The Night Circus” in preparation to reading this I was immediately excited that it contains that same sense of fantastical, magic narrative that is shrouded in mystery.

When Zachary Ezra Rawlins was eleven, he found a painting of a door on a brick wall. The door is in an alley that he uses as a shortcut to school. Most times the walls are covered with graffiti, but today there is this door. On the door there are three symbols. At head height in the centre, a bee, underneath
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best fairy tale I’ve ever read.
Everything worked together.
She fucking did it again.

(I got a little annoyed with the amount of literary references, like we get it you like Donna Tartt. But if that’s the only negative I can think of, we’ve got a damn fine book on our hands.)

I might extend this review?!? I know it doesn’t come out till November, but I’m just excited about how excited I am for a book! That hasn’t happened in awhile.

I posted a video where I reviewed The Starless Sea!
Nov 08, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019
A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title

This book I had to take a few days to digest before I could figure out how I felt about it. At first I was annoyed that it took me far longer to read than I thought it would. But then I realised that it was simply because this book was so much more full than I had expected it to be. That is a great quality in a book!

"Reading a book four times in one day is perfectly
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Illumicrate Group: Day Five: Page 241-300 2 9 3 hours, 1 min ago  
Illumicrate Group: Day Eight (Final Day) 424- Afterward (Included) 3 18 20 hours, 40 min ago  
Illumicrate Group: Day Three: Page 116-181 4 9 20 hours, 41 min ago  
Illumicrate Group: Day Six: Page 301-363 3 14 20 hours, 43 min ago  
Illumicrate Group: Day Four: Page 182-240 3 10 20 hours, 44 min ago  
Illumicrate Group: Day Two: Page 56-115 5 17 20 hours, 46 min ago  

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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.
“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.” 69 likes
“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.” 44 likes
More quotes…