Imagine being at the library looking for some light reading, and then suddenly you found yourself reading a book that features a story based on your own life. That is exactly what happened to Zachary Ezra Rawlins. This strange scenario will lead him to attend a mysterious party that will just increase his uncertainties instead of giving him the answers he was looking for. By writing an overview like this, the story may seem pretty simple. But it is not.
Featuring hidden places, secret passages, the New York Public Library, and a plenty dose of cats, this jewel of a book has come to take us to explore, to wander, inside its very own myths, tales, and fables. It has reinvented fantasy as we know it. Morgenstern writing is mesmerizing, flowing smoothly, and guiding the reader through this epic journey employing an exquisite prose. Time, fate, pirates, faraway lands, maze-like libraries and a sea of honey, all of them intertwine to give us the story we never knew we needed and wanted.
Some people I have talked to about this book told me they have found it confusing, complex, in summary, a heavy reading. The truth is that the book is full of symbolism, it requires you to accept what you are shown, and just go along with it no matter how strange or bizarre it could be. We are required to decipher what the symbols may be, by interpreting it traditionally. The author does not give us enough hints to fully answer the arising questions, which means that each reader will have their own personal interpretation of the many images and metaphors that are presented to them.
We are expected to think differently, and it can be a tough mission especially when most of the fantasy novels are based on old legends and historical events. The Starless Sea, however, stands out by defying this, creating its own universe of myths and its own symbols. It has been built block by block, inspired by libraries, filled and fuelled by the love for books. It is, in fact, an ode to readers and librarians and writers and libraries.
For me, it has been like reading an ancient book, like if it was one of those fables and tales I read as a child. The message is clear and simple, but the way it comes to us is astonishing, extraordinary. Now, are you willing to sail the starless sea?