Review – The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea

Book Title: The Starless Sea

Book Description: “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 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 his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life.”

Book Author: Erin Morgenstern

Book Format: Hardcover

Date published: 2019-11-05

Number Of Pages: 498

  • Writing - 10/10
  • Development - 9.5/10
  • Overall - 9.75/10
User Review
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The Starless Sea is the latest novel from Erin Morgenstern, and it’s a novel that fans have been waiting years for. But the wait was well worth it—blowing fans out of the water with a beautifully thought-out and detailed world full of books and magic.


The Starless Sea

The Starless Sea is the latest novel written by Erin Morgenstern, and it’s a novel that fans have been waiting years for. That being said, it was one that was, without a shadow of a doubt, worth the wait. Fans of The Night Circus are going to be over the moon for this piece.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is many things. He’s the son of a fortune-teller. Zachary is also a graduate student working on his game design degree. He’s fascinated by books. And one day, he failed to open the door made just for him. So when the opportunity comes around again, Zachary wastes no time with hesitation. He throws himself headfirst into this new and fantastic world, one full of books, wonders, bees, and cats. And that is only the beginning.

Erin Morgenstern - The Starless SeaThe Starless Sea was a novel with a long wait, but it was also one that proved our patience was worth it. It’s no wonder that fans have been buzzing about this book for the last few months (pun intended).


The Starless Sea was perhaps the most elegant piece of work to come out in 2019. It was beautifully-written, full of complexity and intrigue. Within this novel th,ere were a series of stories, all weaving in and out of one another.

It’s safe to say that Erin Morgenstern outdid herself with this novel. The world within The Starless Sea was fast and fascinating. We’ve all seen plenty of novels out there surrounding the concept of magical libraries. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this one. The themes that Morgenstern wove into this novel really made the piece, in my opinion. Keys, bees, birds, and libraries. They are themes we’ve seen before, but they’re also themes that many readers can resonate with. And that’s part of the reason why this novel was so powerful.

The other part is due to the characters that Morgenstern created. Zachary is just one of many characters the plot revolves around. He’s the main character, in many ways. And at times he was just as clueless as us readers, giving us an avenue to learn alongside him.

The secondary characters and subplots are where this tale really begins to shine. At first, these stories might seem disjointed, but with time, it all makes so much more sense. And that makes it all the more beautiful.


The Starless Sea is not a novel that can be rushed. It went along at what felt like a leisurely pace, at times. But it was all building towards something climatic, something grand and larger than life. Those moments were explosive in force, and made all the building up worth it.

It was truly fascinating to see how all of the different subplots worked together—for they all told a different part of one much larger tale. It was so flawlessly done that, at times, it was easy to get wrapped up in the moment and forget that there was actually a larger picture to consider.

One of the many subplots found within The Starless Sea was a romance, one between Zachary and another fascinating character. There was something so endearing about this budding love. It made both characters feel more human, thanks to their emotions towards one another.


The Starless Sea was an amazing and enthralling read. It completely got inside my head, and created one of the worst book hangovers I’ve ever experienced. But it was absolutely worth it. It was also worth the wait.

There is such a thing as a sophomore slump, but that is not something that happened here. Erin Morgenstern has completely blown her fans out of the water with her latest novel and, in the process, has made us all the more excited for whatever she comes up with next.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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