The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Image result for the starless sea
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 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. (taken from Amazon)

           The word “exquisite” doesn’t begin to describe the beauty of this book. This book is the sweet melancholy of virgin snow, soon to be stepped in. It is the delight of a surprise package, the excitement of a first kiss, the mysterious possibility of change. It is perfection on pages.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is an excellent protagonist, sweet and a little unsure of himself. The story begins with a book found in a library, one that contains a tale about Zachary’s childhood. It’s a memory of something that really happened, something that no-one has been told about.  Zachary’s need to know more about the origin of the book leads him into labyrinthine tunnels, and the even more difficult -to- navigate maze of self-discovery.

The prose is gorgeous and the nonlinear way that the story unfolds is perfect. I love how Erin Morgenstern evokes not just sight and sound, but smell and taste with her writing. This book made me sad in that beautiful way that is so close to happiness that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe I’ll do both. That will really freak my husband out.

The Night Circus, which is Erin Morgenstern’s first book, is on my “top five favorite books of all time” list. I have officially made it my “top six favorites” because this has found a place in my heart. Read this book.

“Each door will lead to a Harbor on the Starless Sea, if someone dares to open it.
Little distinguishes them from regular doors. Some are simple. Others are elaborately decorated. Most have doorknobs waiting to be turned though others have handles to be pulled.

“These doors will sing. Silent siren songs for those who seek what lies behind them.
For those who feel homesick for a place they’ve never been to. 

Those who seek even if they do  not know what (or where) it is that they are seeking. 
Those who seek will find. 
Their doors have been waiting for them.”