“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” — The Arabian Nights

When falling into the pages of a book, the reader has the opportunity to explore a vast universe of possibilities. Readers glue themselves to their books, be they hard cover, folded paperbacks or e-readers and dive into the depths of a new story. Our latest read takes book lovers to the most fantastic place, a secret underground library known as the Starless Sea.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Reading “The Starless Sea” is a decadent and rich experience; like the current of honey that runs through the novel, Erin Morgenstern’s latest book leaves readers with a sweetness on their tongue and a yearning for more.

Morgenstern captivates the reader with her wonderland of stories within a story about a mythical underground library. This particular book is a bookworm’s novel as Morgenstern layers literary references into the delicately woven narrative. When Zachary finds an odd book at his college’s library, he can’t quite resist reading the collection of short stories called “Sweet Sorrows” and is shocked to find a story about his childhood is included in the book about a strange library called the Starless Sea. Zachary sets off to find out more about how a moment from his life, described with intricate detail, could possibly have been included in such an old book. His research leads him to a charity ball that results in him falling down the rabbit hole, entwined in an old feud with book lovers and finds himself plunked into the surprisingly real Starless Sea. Recurring symbols swirl around him; the key, the heart, the crown, the feather, the bee and the sword crop up again and again as he chases down a literary mystery. With Dorian and Mirabel, Zachary tries to unravel how he is tied to the Starless Sea and how the stories about Fate and Time and the moon and her lover are connected back to him.

As the narratives fold in around him, Zachary is finds himself living a book lover’s dream, living inside the story and exploring worlds beyond his dreams.

From the book jacket…

“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.”

If you enjoy…

Readers who fall in love with the symbols, myths or even the musicality of “The Starless Sea” will also enjoy a competition between two magicians in an extravagant traveling circus in Morgenstern’s other novel “The Night Circus.”