In an underground labyrinth of books reminiscent of the Neitherlands library in Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy, Zachary Ezra Rawlins sifts through story after story, searching for his own. After stumbling across an odd anecdote from his childhood in an authorless book, Zachary seeks answers in the subterranean library, through painted doors and overlapping realities. There, he finds stories barely contained by their pages, riddles of Fate and Time, tales of weary travelers and all-seeing owls, and perhaps even love. Morgenstern's highly anticipated second novel is gorgeously written and highly imaginative. Recommended By Alice G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
New York Times bestseller
Named a best book of the year by The Guardian, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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. 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. 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.
"A high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do [and] a stunning array of linked fables, myths and origin stories....It is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"A magnificent quest, a sense of unfolding adventure and danger, gold-wrought fantasy, and endless provocation on what storytelling really means." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"This love letter to bibliophiles is dreamlike and uncanny, grounded in deeply felt emotion, and absolutely thrilling." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a number-one national bestseller that has been sold around the world and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in theater from Smith College and lives in Massachusetts.