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The Starless Sea

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  4,464 ratings  ·  1,559 reviews
13 hours and 30 minutes

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library 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
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 14 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Random House Audio
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  4,464 ratings  ·  1,559 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
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
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 |
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.
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.
Lisa Lynch
"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
Nov 09, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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.


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
Emily May
Apr 22, 2019 marked it as lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, fantasy

ARC provided in exchange for honest review
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!
Oct 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Helena of Eretz ✰
"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
Chelsea Humphrey
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
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Can I go ahead and label this as my new favorite book?


Too early?

Nov 08, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
So guess who got a gorgeous proof copy of this from a rep from Penguin Random House?

It was I, Dio

Alright, disclaimer - so the copy is absolutely gorgeous but it will look very different in its final form, so they say.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
An updated additional quote after discussing this with a friend - "It's a story about stories, written with a variety of storytelling tropes and styles."

I'm going to have to try and properly gather all of my thoughts before I can review this one in a better capacity, but there are two things that I can immediately tell you:

1) I found myself having the same experience I did with this author's other book, where I was mostly unsure of where things were headed at the start and it took me much longer
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
It has been so long since I read a book. An entire book.

My father died unexpectedly six months ago, and I've struggled to read since then.

I went to ALA 2019 in hopes of rekindling my love of reading and blogging... I went with one big goal, and that was to obtain this book.

It's the first of my ALA haul that I read

I loved it.

Captivating, intricate, a maze of interwoven stories. Exactly my kind of book. Exactly what I needed to start getting back into reading. I loved this book so much.

Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing


Ok, I'm done screaming, not really but I might be back later to properly yell at you to read this extraordinary magical story full of interwoven magical stories !!!
right now I'm off to cry and probably start this book all over again, goodnight.
Let's just get this out of the way, shall we? This won't be a book for everyone. Just like THE NIGHT CIRCUS worked for you.. or it didn't. But I can't get enough of the way this author writes. Which makes it a travesty this is only book two from her. And yet.. if it takes this long to come up with something like this? I'll happily wait. Again and again and again.

His religion is buried in the silence of freshly fallen snow, in a carefully crafted cocktail, in between the pages of a book somewhere
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Magnificent. Reminds me of Neil Gaiman, but it surpasses him in the atmosphere and beauty of the writing. An ode to stories and readers that examines what a story is and what it can be. Many sections of it are like if the #bookstagram hashtag became sentient and wrote a book. Definitely a story you'll want to get lost in.
marie ☆彡
All you need to know is that this book has solidified my desire to read anything Erin Morgenstern ever writes
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of the most gorgeous and descriptive books I have ever read, not that I was expecting anything less from the author. After all, The Night Circus has set quite a high bar.

I cannot help but fall, time and time again, for books about readers and stories within stories, as they so beautifully illustrate the reason why I, and I suspect many fellow readers, have chosen to lend part of my life to this particular pastime. The Starless Sea is every reader's dream, and so much more; it
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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.” 43 likes
“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.” 24 likes
More quotes…