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  • Published: 5 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473524231
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

The Starless Sea

The magical new bestseller from the author of The Night Circus

'A journey of wonder and imagination' Stylist
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.

Discover the enchanting, magical new bestseller from the author of The Night Circus.
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.

'Enchanting read... an ode to stories and storytelling itself, and the joy of reading' Guardian
'Spellbinding' Daily Mirror
'A magical mix of quests and fables...beautifully written' Heat

  • Published: 5 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473524231
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

About the author

Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a bestseller that has enchanted readers around the world and has been translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in Theatre from Smith College, an ever-growing collection of jewellery made from skeleton keys, and a cat on her lap. She lives in Massachusetts.


Also by Erin Morgenstern

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Praise for The Starless Sea

A puzzlebox of a book, full of meta-narratives and small folkloric tales that will delight readers. [Morgenstern] trusts her readers to follow along and speculate, wonder, and make leaps themselves as she dives into tales of pirates, book burnings, and men lost in time, giving the book a mythic quality that will stick with readers long after they put it down.


Erin Morgenstern's done it again: she creates a magnificent, imaginative world around a story of love and magic. This love letter to bibliophiles is dreamlike and uncanny, grounded in deeply felt emotion, and absolutely thrilling.

Publishers Weekly

A high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories... exquisitely pleasurable.. a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call. An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

STARRED Kirkus Review

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

*Library Journal

A mystical adventure in an enchanted universe


A magical mix of quests and fables, it's set in a secret world full of bees, keys, swords and secrets... beautifully written

Deborah Hughes, Heat

A timeless love story

That's Life Monthly

A lovely, lush voyage through vividly detailed worlds. an amazing literary adventure

Psychologies, *Book of the Month*

The Starless Sea rejects older stories: it makes its own... Rather than a traditional fantasy novel, this is an artificial myth in its own right... the novel's scope and ambition are undeniable

Natasha Pulley, Guardian

Erin Morgenstern's fiction radiates with the excitement of someone discovering a magical world within the pages of a book. The Starless Sea.[is an] enchanting read. an ode to stories and storytelling itself, and the joy of reading

Martin Chilton, Independent

Enchanting...Myths and fairytales entwine with Zachary's quest to discover his life's purpose. Spellbinding.

Daily Mirror

Undeniably imaginative


The Starless Sea effortlessly constructs a fantasy that feels real, building a world filled with characters that you'll know and care about. an enchanting, satisfying finish

Rhian Drinkwater, SFX

A book to get lost in.Morgenstern's second novel boasts winding tunnels lined with packed bookshelves and cosy alcoves containing just enough light to read by. funny and.thought-provoking. [The Starless Sea] an intricate exploration of the stories we tell ourselves and others

Paloma Van Tol, Literary Review

Enchanting... [The Starless Sea] vividly detailed worlds of lost libraries, elegant ballrooms and subterranean seas. Myths and fairytales entwine... The writing is whimsically gorgeous. On every page there's an image to savour... [a] spellbinding book

Eithne Farry, Sunday Express

[Mogenstern's] second novel is just as enchanting, a lovely, lush voyage through vividly detailed worlds where lost libraries, elegant ballrooms, subterranean seas and covert cities are all beautifully described... The writing is whimsically gorgeous. On every page there's an image to savour...as Erin Morgenstern celebrates the wonders of imagination and the lure of stories in this spellbinding book. *****

Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express

Highly imaginative


Beautifully written. [The Starless Sea] is mesmerising

Good Housekeeping

A unique, mind-boggling fantasy

Kate Saunders, The Times

The Starless Sea is quintessential Erin Morgenstern: breathtakingly beautiful, powerfully emotive, and a fantastic read. A booklover fantasy, Morgenstern's follow up to the Night Circus does not disappoint. Set aside an entire day for this one, because you'll pick it up and become very reluctant to put it back down

Lauren Banks, SCAN

This novel is a literary work of art; it is beautiful and captivating and I am utterly in love with it. I am enchanted by Erin Morgenstern's whimsy and lyrical prose, intricate world-building and complex characters... It is filled with witty and sarcastic humour, utterly dysfunctional college students, and a surprising amount of cats, which combines with her purely magical writing style to create one of the best books I've ever read

Megan Jones, SCAN

Discover more

The Starless Sea quiz

Are you an Acolyte, a Guardian or a Keeper? Take this quiz to find out!

5 things to know about the new book from The Night Circus author Erin Morgenstern

Here’s everything you need to know about The Starless Sea, the spellbinding new novel from Erin Morgenstern.

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