A Starless Sea by Erin Morgernstern Read-Along With Me

(the UK edition printed by Harvill Secker)

I have been awaiting the arrival of Erin Morgenstern’s latest book since I met her several years ago when she signed my copy of The Night Circus. Now, the publication of A Starless Sea is imminent; it will be in our hands on November 5, 2019.

This morning I received an extract of the novel from Penguin UK in my mailbox. You can read it here. Or, the beginning of the excerpt here:

Back in his den with the cocoa he settles into the beanbag chair bequeathed to him by a departing student the year before. It is a garish neon green in its natural state, but Zachary draped it with a tapestry that was too heavy to hang on the wall, camouflaging it in shades of brown and grey and violet. He aims the space heater at his legs and opens Sweet Sorrows back to the page the unreliable library lightbulb had stranded him on and begins to read.

He wonders if it will return and loop back to the previous part. Then it changes again.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins’s hands begin to shake.

Because while the first part of the book is a somewhat romantic bit about a pirate, and the second involves a ceremony with an acolyte in a strange underground library, the third part is something else entirely.

The third part is about him.

(the US edition published by Penguin Random House)

I wonder if any of you would like to read this book along with me in November. I will start as soon as it arrives in my mailbox. (I have ordered the American version, autographed by Erin, here.)

I won’t have a schedule, per se, as some of us may stay up the whole night reading it one go. But, I will have posts for each week in November about the book, and I will link to any posts on your blog, as well as welcoming your thoughts here as you read.

Shall we embark on The Starless Sea together?

4 thoughts on “A Starless Sea by Erin Morgernstern Read-Along With Me

  1. I adored The Night Circus and have often thought of reading it a second time, but have never made the time to do so. I am so excited about this new novel by Morgenstern and plan to read it as soon as it’s released. Or rather, listen to the audio edition, as that is how I experienced The Night Circus. So, so lovely! I read the following review on Shelf Awareness Pro just this morning. Hope this isn’t too long to include in my comment!

    In her first novel in eight years, Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) weaves a sprawling, ambitious spell of a story in which a young man becomes caught up in a centuries-old secret world of hidden archives, thwarted love and forces beyond human comprehension.

    As a grad student in emerging media studies, Zachary Ezra Rawlins feels guilty about spending his winter break on pleasure reading rather than playing video games. When he takes out an uncatalogued book, Sweet Sorrows, from the university library, he reads about lovelorn pirates, the star-crossed romance of Time and Fate, and the rites of ancient orders dedicated to guarding a vast underground library on the shores of a mysterious sea. He also finds a short chapter about his own childhood, detailing a time when he unwittingly walked away from a chance to enter this secret world, and it perplexes and scares him. Determined to understand how a book written before his birth could chronicle his life, Zachary goes on a quest to track down its origins. His search leads him to a costumed ball where he meets elegant, pink-haired Mirabel and compelling, roguish Dorian. He’s swept into a world where a door painted onto a wall can open, the Moon can take human form, and owls serve a shadowy monarch. Zachary searches for a way to protect a Harbor on the Starless Sea, a labyrinthine story repository filled with puzzles, secret rooms and the best room service in any world.

    Thoughtful, slightly awkward Zachary makes a perfect every-reader, with his desire to take part in stories and his sympathetic nostalgia for the Choose Your Own Adventure novels. Morgenstern delivers more of the lush, lavish prose passages that made readers fall in love with The Night Circus, creating elaborate scenes that include a sprawling dollhouse landscape, a perpetual party set in a pocket universe outside time and an ocean made of honey. In a narrative of enormous scope and scale, Morgenstern takes slow, painstaking care in assembling the story’s components behind fairy tale sleight-of-hand. Readers should enter her world prepared to spend a large portion of the experience combing for clues in short, metafictive fables written in a romantic, whimsical style reminiscent of the Flax-Golden Tales on the author’s website. While the plot takes its time coming together, the journey is nothing short of magical, like a fantastical, delirious dream that makes awakening back to reality a disappointment. Set aside a few quiet hours to devour this opulent feast. –Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

    Doesn’t this sound like a delicious read?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was not too long, Lesley! It’s hard to believe that The Starless Sea will hold up to The Night Circus, but that just might be the case. I listened to The Night Circus, but I had difficulty keeping it all straight. (That has more to do with my listening prowess than Morgenstern’s writing.) But, you will listen, and I will read, and then I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Or, erm, read them. ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

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