I don’t even know how to start with this review. Or rather I do, but I think just writing ‘Wow’ over and over again might make the review a little short.
Perhaps I will start by saying that this book was well worth waiting. I loved The Night Circus and was a little disappointed that I couldn’t immediately devour all of Erin Morgenstern’s other books. Well, I finally got the chance and it did not let me down.
The Starless Sea returns to Morgenstern’s lyrical magical realism but with another, different mystical setting.
Rather than a circus, this book is about a secret literary haven that is hidden from most of the world. This library, of sorts, is the realm of secret (and somewhat suspicious) societies, masked balls and symbols that you could all too easily miss in everyday life. It is not easily found but one day, a young man manages to stumble on a book about it in his university library.
From there, he finds himself in an adventure that is greater and more dangerous that he could ever have imagined.
This adventure is a little slow to start and if you are looking for fast pace, this might not be for you. It is slow but in a way that suggests that you should savour it. You want to take your time with The Starless Sea so that you can truly appreciate the rich details of this love letter to the power of books. Like a painting or tapestry, there is a lot to this story and to rush through it would be to do Morgenstern’s creation a disservice. I imagine that this is a book that will slowly unfold more and more each time you read it too.
I’m reluctant to say much more about this book because I don’t want to accidentally give away its magic. I loved this book because I loved discovering parts of the story and piecing them together; I would hate to accidentally spoil that for you!
Just know however, that this book is a masterpiece of magical realism and lyrical writing. I have, yet again, been blown away by the mastery of Erin Morgenstern.