Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Can’t-Wait Wednesday, aka Waiting on Wednesday, is a weekly meme originating from Jill at Breaking the Spine and now hosted by Wishful Endings. If you’re interested in participating, stop by Wishful Endings to link up your posts.


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.

I enjoyed The Night Circus but it wasn’t my favorite book in the world. It did have several things going for it including amazing prose and lovely, quirky characters. I’m very much looking forward to another book from Morgenstern, curious to see if I connect better with this one. The Starless Sea is expected November 5th, 2019 from Doubleday.

17 thoughts on “Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

  1. nen & jen says:

    This sounds really interesting. I avoided the Night Circus, but I think I might actually give this one a try 🙂 I love the idea of people sacrificing silence to keep the secrets… I wonder what they are. I hope you enjoy this!

  2. Jorie says:

    Hallo, Hallo again,

    I’m waiting for “The Night Circus” to boomerang back to me via the library’s OverDrive – however, I already earmarked this to be one of my #nextlistens if / when they acquire this title as well! There is something wicked special about how she crafts her stories – I only read less than 25 pages of Night Circus and all these years later, I’m still mystified by it and want to dig further into the world and see how she built it from there!! 🙂 Lovely choice!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      I’d be interested to see how this one is on audio! I read it in print years ago and I put it down about 20% in and then didn’t pick it up again for almost a year! It had a lot of elements which should have made it a favorite of mine, but I felt too much distance from the characters so it never fully captured me. That being said, the concept was great and the prose was amazing, so I’m really looking forward to this new book.

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