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The Starless Sea

A Novel

By Erin Morgenstern
Narrated by Dominic Hoffman & Various / 18 hours 36 minutes

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.

Bookseller Recommendation

If you enjoyed Little, Big, then you’ll love The Starless Sea.

“Love, ghosts, libraries, presents, pasts, finding and losing, seeking and discovering, all intertwined in a puzzle-ring through which narrative lines twine and weave, until the reader's delight at knowing the characters and seeing the world bursts with glorious epiphany. Not since "Little, Big" have I read a book that so caught my fancy, nor since Gormenghast have I found such an all-absorbing and whimsical world, nor since Borges and Calvino have I touched such an intricate creation of story and meta-story. This is not just a book. It's a legend, and let me introduce you, reader, to the part you are to play....”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop

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 of 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.


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“A spellbinding novel. . . . I could not put it down, and when I finished, I turned immediately back to the first page so I wouldn't have to leave this magical world. If you believe in the power of stories to transcend time and space, to marry love and fate, read this book!”

Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek

About the Author

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.


Reviews

“Erin Morgenstern has magic to make... the author returns with a new fantastical fairy-tale for grown-ups.”

Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly

“A magnificent quest, a sense of unfolding adventure and danger, gold-wrought fantasy, and endless provocation on what storytelling really means.”

Library Journal

“This love letter to bibliophiles is dreamlike and uncanny, grounded in deeply felt emotion, and absolutely thrilling.”

Publishers Weekly

Related Reading

8 Years After ‘The Night Circus,’ Erin Morgenstern Has a New Novel
The New York Times

Erin Morgenstern celebrates literary magic with The Starless Sea
Entertainment Weekly

Read an Excerpt from Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea
Tor.com


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. It is easier to be in love in a room with closed doors. To have the whole world in one room. One person. The universe condensed and intensified and burning, bright and alive and electric. Everyone wants the stars. Everyone wishes to grasp that which exists out of reach. To hold the extraordinary in their hands and keep the remarkable in their pockets. Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another. It is a sanctuary for storytellers and storykeepers and storylovers. They eat and sleep and dream surrounded by chronicles and histories and myths.