Today I have a review of one of my most anticipated books of 2019, The Starless Sea. I read The Night Circus by Erin a few years ago which absolutely adored. Thus when I saw she was coming up with another book towards the end of 2019, I knew immediately that I had to read it. Le’s get to it.
Disclaimer: This book was kindly gifted to me by Penguin Random House SA in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve seen so many mixed reviews about The Starless Sea and I don’t want to lie, I was so nervous going into it. A lot of people who enjoyed The Night Circus ended up not enjoying this one. But I had to go into it with a clear mind so that my thoughts are not biased at all.
The story follows the main character Zachary Ezra Rawlins, a typical introvert who likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. Whilst in the process of reading, he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he’s unnerve and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger. Erin weaves Zachary’s adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. This book is quit long I must say, but I found it perfect for all the interweaving story-lines described throughout the book. Yes it requires some patience because it contains stories within stories. Erin does an amazing job putting the pieces or stories in place. However, once everything is in motion, the story flows perfectly and with Erin’s writing you get drawn to this fantasy world that she painted so perfectly. I just commend her on the imagined worlds, she executes them perfectly.
I absolutely adored the growth in relationships throughout the story. Other aspects of the story I was like I did not see that one coming at all and I had these moments a lot. I now get why it might have been a frustration to other people but I feel like once you endure the first part of the story then it takes off in a way that is not rushed at all and not dragging too long. For me it was the perfect length to describe the world accordingly and then move along with the story.
If you are into magic or fantasy, I’d highly recommend you give this book a chance and to be patient at the beginning.
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 Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.
Title: The Starless Sea; Author: Erin Morgenstern; Publisher: Penguin; Published: 5 November 2019; Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical fantasy, Romantic fantasy; Page count: 498; Nominations: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Fantasy
Have you read it or planning to? Will you be adding this to your list? Leave us a comment in the comments section below.