The Starless Sea

Reading “The Starless Sea” is like watching an intricately put-together puzzle unfold and reveal its workings. There are stories within stories, fables, bits, and quotes, all of which initially seem unrelated, but weave in and out of each other, enhancing, revealing, exploring, detailing various facets of the story and its characters. It’s amazingly written, and so fun to explore! It took me a bit to get going, but once it got going, every new story, every context-switch went from “Huh?” to “Ooh, I wonder where this fits in!” – And you can try to guess those parts as well; to connect the dots yourself : D

One of the cover reviews is “The Starless Sea rejects older stories: it makes its own.” And it really does! I would probably describe the book as a love-letter to story telling, fables, and literary analysis. But it is also just a solid story of intrigue, mystery, secret societies, hidden spaces, etc., which it’s very easy to get dragged into.

It took me longer to read than books normally do. I can’t pinpoint if it was because of the vocabulary or the context-switches, or if the book’s print is smaller than normal, or some combination of all of this (or something different). But in a way, it felt very appropriate; The Starless Sea took its time to show and guide and reveal its world, and where it was going with it.

If you like Dark Academia, mystery, and intrigue, mixed in with a sprinkle of discussion / exploration on what stories and their purpose are (not done in a pretentious way, I promise!), then I’d strongly recommend reading The Starless Sea! It’s such great fun to see all the pieces slowly but surely come together, and to explore the world via some very sweet and well-written characters : )

(Oh and there is definitely going to be some re-reading value, so if you’re into that, that’s neat as well.)

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day! : )

Thomas Ekström Hansen
Thomas Ekström Hansen
PhD student in Computer Science

My interests include information visualisation, formal methods, and low-level programming.