I remember reading The Night Circus quite a fair bit of time ago and thinking back to that first reading experience of Erin Morgenstern’s work, I can recall the spectacular, magical, ethereal qualities that formed the vivid literary world within the story. In her most recent (and only second) piece of literature, Morgenstern achieves that same mystical whimsicalness in her writing, that leaves the reader encapsulated by the weird and wonderful. Just as with The Night Circus, I was left entranced by the story I’d consumed while also oddly perplexed at its conclusion.
In terms of character journey and development, my personal standout is that of Mirabel. Something of an enigma, I found myself questioning her motives throughout Zacherary’s journey (after all, she is the reason for our intrepid adventurer finding himself navigating the labyrinthine library). However, after some prolific discoveries, I felt that she redeems herself at the moment that matters most.
Surprisingly enough, I found our main character, Zachary Rawlins to be a rather dull young man through most of his story. As a son of a fortune teller, I was hoping he’d have a stronger sense of adventure but ultimately he’s just a scared little wimp trudging around and seeming only mildly perplexed at the situations he finds himself in.
The Starless Sea is a story about the love of stories and one aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was the addition of smaller stories that made up the larger tale at play. In part, I found myself being more entertained by the short fables and snippets of fantastical tales that help craft together what’s really happening around our main characters.
At the heart of it all, this is a book that I’ll probably have to revisit one day in order to truly grasp all of the hidden meanings and easter eggs (if you will). I didn’t find it easy bedtime reading purely due to theses such intricacies but, then again, I remember having similar sentiments about The Night Circus, way back when.
The Starless Sea: a good mystical, fantasy, escapism book for absolute lovers of stories and beautifully crafted literary worlds.