Zachary Ezra Rawlins finds a book in his university Library called Sweet Sorrows. It contains a series of stories about pirates, lost love, the Starless Sea, and himself. In trying to find out the book’s secrets, he becomes entangled with a secret society and learns that Myth and Stories have more power than he could possibly have known.
This book reminds me a bit of The Neverending Story, with its dual level of a boy reading a book whose story includes him. Yet The Starless Sea goes several layers deeper than that. It explores the worlds of myths and fairy tales in a way that is itself a myth. It may be difficult to follow what is real and what isn’t in this book, but I think that’s the point: to simply fall into the beauty of storytelling, to revel in a story well-told, and try to find ourselves within the story. If you read Morgenstern’s The Night Circus you will be well-pleased by this book. If you enjoy magical realism and falling down rabbit-holes, you will enjoy this book.
Review by Jessica A.