May 24, 2024


curled up on the sofa

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern tells a tale about an underground labyrinth that serves as a sanctuary for stories and storytellers. It’s located in a place called the Starless Sea.

Zachary of The Starless Sea

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. There is also some amazing queer representation in this book. The main character, Zachary Rawlins, is gay.


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea. Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks.

Story Begins of The Starless Sea

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.


Z 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.

Who is Zachary’s love interest in the starless sea?

Just after Dorian admits his feelings for Zachary, they are separated. Zachary struggles to find Dorian and comes to terms with his feelings of love. At the end of the story, they begin a relationship. His mother believes that she will one day have a son-in-law, which likely refers to Dorian.

The Starless Sea Book Summary


There’s really only one villain to pick from in this book—Allegra Cavallo. This woman is how villains are supposed to be written. She’s clever, ruthless, and truly believes she’s doing the right thing, which is what makes her so good. Allegra is a painter.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel and Dorian.

THE STARLESS SEA has a love story, but it’s not the only story and it doesn’t show up until deep within the book. This is a story about stories, and it is all the more charming and delicious for readers who find the references and love notes to the stories which have come before, both within and without its pages.

Is Mirabel a fate in The Starless Sea?

He is timeless, but he continually loses Mirabel who returns in other forms. Zach realizes that the Keeper is the pirate/Time and Mirabel is the lover/Fate. (Mirabel is also Eleanor’s daughter).

Novel follows the son of a fortune-teller, Zachary Ezra Rawlins, as he quests to discover, and then save, an underground magical library.

The library has come under threat from a clandestine organization, known as the Guardians. Their mission is to keep knowledge of the library secret, and they are willing to destroy people (and the library itself) to achieve that goal.

Library, on the other hand, has its own destiny: to destroy itself in a phoenix-like process of rebirth, so that its current stories can finish and new ones may begin. In his efforts to counter the Guardians, Zachary unknowingly becomes a key player in the library’s own agenda.

The library and the Starless Sea are rich and complex characters, just like the other individuals in the novel.

Divisions in The Starless Sea

The book is divided into six sections. In each section, the chapters alternate between narrating a piece of Zachary’s the “real-time” events of the novel and presenting either a fable or another narrative. These interspersed stories come from books that Zachary reads within the text, or they follow other characters who are part of the main story. People, places, and symbols introduced in these interludes will appear as material realities later in the “real-time” of the story.

From the beginning,

The book Zachary is reading makes him feel it’s a story of him. Z is searching for the solution to his perplexion. Zachary could get everything he experienced yet the book is too old to have been inscribed about his past.

He again sees the sign of the key with a symbol of a bee in the sticker of the book, the exact sign he saw on the door when he was a child and did not open that door which he still regrets.

2nd part,

A necklace -> Bee, Key, Sword.

Z is searching for a book related to Sweet Sorrows. It has vanished. He Google found a picture in which a woman is wearing a necklace.

It mentions, it can be bought in a masquerade which is 3 days away from the day he googles.

3rd part, The Party

Really strange things happened to Z at the party. He got a card from a pocket with a sign of Bee. A man told him a story.

He went through unfathomable walks. Z got into lost cities of honey and bones.
Time loves Fate; Girl loves Pirate. This is where the story changes.

4th Part

The Key Collector vanished with a mystical woman who walked through the door (invisible), opened once, with one of the keys of the key collector. The room was golden.

5th part

The world sinks. He slips falling into the honey sea and the honey embraces him like a long-lost love. The boat capsizes. He gasps for breath and around him world breaks. Now seemed more meaningful than Next.
No story ever truly ends as long as it is told.

6th part

Broadly speaking, on the level of structure, the novel offers two intertwined love stories: the reunions of Time and Fate and the romance of Zachary and Dorian. But while the afterword ends with gratifying happy endings, these do not feel as if they actually resolve the novel.

At the novel’s conclusion, the characters’ stories are just beginning.

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