Eight years after The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern returns with a brand new novel involving a Starless Sea, an Owl King, Magical Doors and whole lots of books. The author’s writing style still remains one of my favourites. She is so comfortable describing fantasy elements that it’s almost annoying how good she is at it. The imagery comes so easily in my head and I start to attach to the characters without knowing it.
The Starless Sea is probably one of the most nested stories structure I’ve witnessed so far. It’s stories within stories, stories about characters, characters influencing the stories while reading about them, I know. Mindblown Inception style. But in all among that we have your everyday-life student Zachary who finds a book describing every single step of his life. And as weird as it might sound, the book also reveals that he missed a big opportunity when he was a kid. Now adult, sitting in front of the book, he will try to make everything right and compensate for the lost opportunities.
I would have to admit that there are times where I would go litterally Wt** is going on? and you could be overwhelmed by the multitude of elements. However, the pace would always slow down a bit to give you some mental breaks. There are a lot of details that would go unexplained, simply to be there to tease us about the big magical universe that the author is building. But allow yourself to fall into this world, this book is an invitation to take what you know about the real world and throw it away, discover a new world.
This novel is openly a dedication to fairytales and myths. It reads a bit like them where every single element is a physical part of the plot. Not here to make sense of what we know, but here to foreshadow the imagination of our younger selves.
Have you read the book? What did you think?
Big thank you to the publisher for sending this copy!
Review by Trang Tran