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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The magical new novel from the best-selling author of The Night Circus.

Are you lost or are you exploring?

When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.

Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.

When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.

You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.

©2018 Erin Morgenstern (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Starless Sea

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Meh

the insta love was out of nowhere
I didn't like this book mostly because of
nothing happens

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely loved it ❤

Loved Erin's lyrical and atmospheric writing. It was a little confusing to be honest and I had to re-hear some parts. But the writing was so beautiful that I couldn't stop 😍

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    3 out of 5 stars

A balanced book with equal amount if pros and cons

well I found the entire story quite confusing and hard to keep up with. but may be that's just me. however in certain parts the story just excelled the best of the best. its overall vibe is a saddish reality kinda stuff. ofc the story is completely fictional and can be visualised very easily. but I personally feel that all the multiple parts of the story had symbolic meaning in the real world too. and bcuz it had many parts which occasionally interlinked, it was kinda confusing. there were many fables and small stories which is like a bonus. its many stories within one story and it's great! I like the story when I view it in parts. but when I view the story as a whole....... i can't really get any general meaning out if it. so it was a balanced read. not amazing, not bad. but the narration was beyond amazing!!

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  • KS
  • 12-10-21

A Remarkable Story of Stories

A very good book. It tickles our intellect and drops puzzles here and there to keep us engaged. The writing is good and enjoyable. The characters are well rounded but most of all, it gave the sense of wandering around in a dusty huge library browsing through a story here and a snippet there. Only problem was the narrative could have been more cohesive. character threads are dropped abruptly only to be picked up a few chapters later. It gets murky with so many stories within stories all meandering towards conclusion at the same time.

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Beautiful writing!

This book is written and told so beautifully that I hated that it ended. AMAZING!

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  • Liesl
  • 15-01-20

More than one story woven into one

The story is a multitude of separate stories, which also happens to be one story. These stories are woven into one and you are left at the shores of the Starless Sea and the habour to wonder what other adventures await the characters you were introduced to. This story reminds one to open new doors and to go exploring, wondering, meandering, and experience life to its fullest.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • michael potts
  • 03-12-19

Ruined by Dominic Hoffman

The story has moments of brilliance, but as an audio book is unfortunately by Dominic Hoffman's drawl, repeated miss pronunciations, clumsy rhythm, and painful, monotone drone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Magenta Cameron
  • 25-11-19

A Love Letter to Storytelling

This book is stunning. It is beautiful, lyrical and so atmospheric. It pulls you in and doesn’t let go. It makes you believe in fairytales again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 05-05-21

Another triumph

Another excellent story by Erin Morgenstern. And a wonderful reading - this production really brought the story to life.

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 05-04-21

Great book, but ending was convoluted

I really loved the first 3/4 of this book, it’s a dream like story that twists and turns and intertwines... but it gets almost too dream like at the end where it becomes a little confusing. How ever I still really enjoyed it.

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 09-12-20

Wow

The most beautiful book I've listened to in a long time. What a beautiful read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-06-20

Disappointment

Many great short stories, while the main story has become a drag after chapter 30 (OMG there are 97 chapters).

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 26-04-20

Into the world of the Starless Sea

Like The Night Circus, Erin once again paints and creates worlds with words, making it easy for readers to open the doors 😉 and step inside.

This novel is intricate, with several stories interwoven, developing throughout the book and progressively merging.
It is certainly one to read a second time.

Well done Erin. We hope you are working on your third book!

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  • Brenda
  • 22-04-20

A Bizarre Tale

After Night Circus I was so excite for this book that I even pre-ordered it.... My, my what a terrible disappointment. I imagined I would love it... and in the end I couldn't even finish it, let alone like it. It's way too much like hard work. There are NINETY THREE chapters and eventually at Chapter 36 I finally gave up. (Yes I stuck it out for THAT long so no-one can say I didn't try hard enough). Next time Erin brings out a book I will wait to see a few thousand reviews on it before I waste another credit.

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  • Nichola Millen
  • 20-03-20

Poor choice on my part

Some stories are meant for you and some are not. This book was not for me. I had to actively push through this narrative and it almost put me into a reading slump 3 times. I can appreciate this beauty and its honouring of stories. But I think I need to walk way from Morgenstern and keep walking.

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  • T. Komorowska
  • 05-11-19

Perfect.

I’ve waited 9 years for this book, anticipating another novel as enchanting as The Night Circus. That being said, I dove into this book with high expectations and major worries it wouldn’t live up to Morgenstern’s debut. I didn’t need to worry. Drawn in as soon as the first words began, Erin managed to instantly transport me away from my life, worries, mundanities. She creates worlds in a way that it becomes real for you too.

The narrators were perfectly chosen. I worried that multiple narrators would spoil the flow for me, instead it added to the submersion of Erin’s stunning prose.

It you are contemplating buying this book, I simply can’t recommend it enough. No words I could ever produce would do it justice.

Jump. Jump in to this book, and the world it weaves around you. You won’t be sorry.

37 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Inge
  • 18-12-19

It just goes on and on. Beautiful but aimless.

It seems to be a beautiful story, beautifully told. I have listened to nearly 7 hours of it. But it does not seem to have a goal, purpose or plot. I have given up.

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jenna Williams
  • 14-02-20

The narration is terrible

I had to buy a physical copy of this book due to the errors made in the performance. The voices for the character kept interweaving and this left me feeling really confused about what was going on, and who was saying what.

9 people found this helpful

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  • an amazon customer
  • 17-01-20

So disappointing

How can a book with so much promise fail to deliver so miserably? I loved The Night Circus - it was one of my favourite books from the time. This book had a good premise, and some nice lyrical passages, but I was overall just so disappointed. The characterisation was pretty much non-existent, there was no narrative drive, it was confusing, long, repetitive. I'm sorry but I really wanted to love this book. The performance was fine, but could not salvage it for me, I'm afraid. This book in no way lived up to the huge hype surrounding it, and that is a shame.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 31-01-20

terrible!

It is impossible to get into this book or care about any of the characters!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin Dente
  • 11-11-19

Wonderful

It's been a long wait since The Night Circus, but oh, so worth it!

A truly captivating story, and an excellently produced audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil
  • 14-01-20

An astounding journey

This was something special, something different. The narration, calm, level and measured, the pace slow but steady. If you are sleepy when listening don't be surprised if it lulls you into dreams and you end up rewinding over half remembered pages
But don't let that make you think this is boring or tedious. The story is woven through with sub stories and plots that pull you ever in. You do not realise you have gone anywhere, know that anything much has come to pass until you think back over the action. I adored this production. I've not read the authors previous novel but I will now. The characters are both deep and elusive they are more emotion than substance for the most part.

A brilliant concept wonderfully executed.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • 30-11-19

Very like Myst

Very well narrated and performed. I think, as an ensemble, this team is the best I have heard.

I enjoyed this tale which is substantially different from The Night Circus. There are many fewer characters and the locales are more proscribed.

Many times I was reminded of the computer game Myst. There were similar puzzles and hidden passages. Mysterious rooms with strange devices and surreal pictures which were part of the puzzle. Bookshop with clues and a succession of movable objects, or tokens which triggered progress into further rooms.

All this entranced me although I recognise that this style may not be to everyone's taste. Morgenstern's environment has a sense of distressed gentility. Almost louche.

Characterisation is fine and in fact some cases mysterious. Dialogue progresses the story but seems to become directed at cats much of the time. Fine with me.

All round I liked this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard Keir
  • 11-11-19

Gave up at Chapter 13

This is the most muddled story I have ever tried to listen to, let alone read. By chapter 13 I decided that life was too short and there were far better books in my library.
Such a shame. Night Circus was great.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chrissie Ann
  • 13-05-20

No words

No words can describe how much I enjoyed this book. I cried I laughed I wanted to hear more I didn't want it to finish. Fantastic, fabulous, unbelievable, I could go on adding compliments, but they would not be enough.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • FIONA S.
  • 12-11-19

Not smoking what she’s smoking.

I was so excited about this book having loved The Night Circus. Some of the characters were interesting and likable and the story had some great elements, however I found myself losing interest as the story drifted along labyrinthine paths. It was a bit like listening to someone else describe a very long (and fascinating to them) dream.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jodie
  • 12-05-20

Expecting more that never happened

Being a huge fan of The Night Circus, I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I got through two thirds of the novel and finally gave up on it. Although the descriptions and world building was stunning, I found that the story became confusing, and not really a story at all. Beautiful exposition and interesting characters, but lacked a cohesive story. I'm so sad!
Another distracting problem i found was with the different narrators. Some did a perfectly great job, although I think the number of narrators made the story even more confusing at times, and some are obviously unsure of how to pronounce some words. Words like 'ballet' and 'chaise lounge' were repetitively mispronounced - maybe not a big deal for some readers, but it was quite distracting for me.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gabriele
  • 20-11-19

Was waiting for ... so much more

Highly psychedelic. 18 hours and 37 minutes of world building and character introductions.
Loved Night Circus! So was waiting for… so much more.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Darren
  • 17-01-20

Acid trip without the acid

I was a big fan of the Nigh Circus and tried really hard to keep going with this book, but with only a few chapters left till the end, I finally gave up. The book is made up of a series of vignettes held together by the central premise relating to stories. Morgenstern attempts to manufacture her own mythology, but there is nothing cohesive in the tale.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Tanya Heywood
  • 10-12-19

Just beautiful

I'm a sucker for a bit of Magic and this was truly magical. The tale had me hooked from the get go, the incredible readers transported me backwards and forwards in time. The story unfurled Seamlessly.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 15-06-22

Worthwhile successor to The Night Circus

Many of the themes introduced in The Night Circus are pursued further here: Time, Love, Magic and Mystery. If you enjoyed The Night Circus,, definitely worth the journey. The writing has matured to weave a more complex story handled as deftly. This is a more difficult book; perhaps you'll find it's a 'difficult pleasure'. True to her words, no stories really finish and the meaning of the tale won't only be found at the end. The reading is well done, and the overall experience is more than the sum of its parts.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Isabelle
  • 26-02-22

Confused

I don't really know how I feel about this book. The writing style was lovely and sort of poetic but the overall story was confusing! I like some elements of the narrative and by the end I sort of gauged how different parts fit together but then other bits had me completely lost.
I went into this thinking of her first book, Night Circus, which I ABSOLUTELY ADORED!!!! And so for a while I was a bit put out that it was nothing like that. And I'm normally a fan of surrealism and non linear storylines but it completely lost me at various points.
The narrators for the most part left much to be desired and some irritated me in how they read bits, like dramatic pauses and such.
Overall, it was ok but probably won't read again.

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  • Rose
  • 02-02-22

Fall down the rabbit hole or rather open the door…

I loved this story so much. It came at a time that I needed an escape and took me breathlessly away with emotive narrative. A mysterious collection of stories that have the similar motifs, characters and symbols lead Ezra into the story that has a story about him.

Any book lovers that dream of a romanticised place where they could just read Stories will love this the most. Journey to the starless sea and understand what these symbols all mean. 🐝🗝🗡

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  • Luthien Tinuviel
  • 21-12-21

Overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time…

I was really excited to listen to this after I had read The Night Circus a couple of years before and fallen in love with it. The Starless Sea has all the wonder, magic and atmospheric beauty I was expecting, but its multiple interweaving narratives are both the best and worst thing about it. The first act is appropriately intriguing and lures the reader into the mystery of the story, but does little to reward our patience, attention and tenacity even through 93 chapters and somehow-connected storylines. Even the end leaves out certain elements that would have been so fascinating to explore. I was torn between never wanting the story to end and wondering how much more of it I could take, especially since the readers of this audiobook all manage to have the same vocal cadences and pacing, it’s maddening. The Starless Sea is a masterclass in descriptive writing and has a lot of merit as a concept, but everything else about it is, quite honestly, a darn disappointment.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikky PG
  • 14-10-21

I am so in love with this story

Wow. What an ode to storytelling. I absolutely loved this book and will definitely be reading it again.

All the narrators were fantastic.