- Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
- Length: 21 hrs and 44 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 06-12-18
- Language: English
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Regular price: $50.39
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I was nine years old the first time I tried to kill a man....
Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him. In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction. If Khai is to keep his soul's twin, Zariya, alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Daniel Rouk on 06-29-18
Another fantastic novel from Jacqueline Carey. Her world-building is superb and I immediately became a huge fan of her main character. First half of the novel is equal to the best she's done. Second half suffered a bit as the support characters weren't nearly as developed, but still a solid story.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By DabOfDarkness on 08-06-18
The most beautiful thing I've enjoyed this year!
I’ve just been on an adventure with Khai and Zariya. The desert sand is still wedged in creases, the sea salt adhering to my hair, and some jungle forest mystery patch is making it’s home in the shady part of my imagination. I’m a long time fan of Carey’s works but Starless may have surpassed them all. The plot was unexpected, the characters unforgettable, and the settings deadly beautiful.
A beautiful mythology wends it’s way through the plot. The stars, children of the sun Zar and he three moons, were cast from the heavens ages ago. Now these stars reside throughout the world, each gifted and bestowing their gifts upon mortals. Sometimes this is through direct interaction, sometimes through objects like rare seeds or a magical pearl.
The story is told through Khai’s eyes. He grows up in a desert fortress being trained by the monks on a variety of skills. He was born with a destiny: to be the Shadow to the Sun Blessed, Zariya. Once we’ve gotten to know Khai good and well (several years have passed), he goes to the royal palace to serve as Zariya’s body guard and confidante.
Since I had already fallen in love with Khai, I wasn’t sure I would bond as well with Zariya. Her world is so very different from the desert fortress but she has not been without her trials. An affliction challenges her daily. On top of that is the endless intrigues, making it difficult to trust anyone other than her Shadow. Zariya, being the last daughter of the last wife, believes she is destined for a simple marriage and child bearing. However, prophecy steps in and drags Zariya and Khai off on a world-saving adventure.
If Jacqueline Carey were ever to write horror, she would send a tremble through the entire genre. The creepy critters from the sea that threaten to decimate the world are truly things of nightmares. I thought the ants from the 3rd trilogy in the Terre D’Ange Cycle were scary; however, the critters from Starless take the cake.
I loved the gender fluidity of Khai’s character. The desert people call it ‘bazim’ (not sure on spelling). Khai grew up among only males but once he moves to the palace, he spends most of his time in the women’s quarter, guarding Zariya. There he learns about women and starts questioning his own gender-based roles in society. It’s all very well done. As Khai interacts with more cultures, each shares their take on the matter, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes bluntly. Khai grows by leaps and bonds and I loved his character all the more by the end of the tale. 5/5 stars.
The Narration: Caitlin Davies did a great job with this book – a truly top notch performance. She provided so many different accents, keeping all the characters unique. Plenty of emotions, subtle and not, were on display in this tale and Davies gave them all their due. I especially enjoyed the valiant Mayfly. 5/5 stars.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 08-13-18
8 first hours are good. then sloppy boring mess
well I guess you can imagine that I didn't like this book. and I stopped with like 2 hours left. because I couldn't take any more of this predictable unoriginal read. this might ofc just be my personal preference crashing with the writing style of this book. but at this point I've just given up.
that being said. this book might be for those who have never read any fantasy before. so you won't see how blighted this is with phrases from other fantasy, that has been reused, after swapping out one word.
wouldn't recommend this to anyone. unless you just want to read/listen to the first 8 hours. which are ok.
By Mike on 08-03-18
Some good ideas, badily written.
The book had a very promising start but abiut a third of the way through I was struggling to stay interested. There is the potential for a really good story but it isnt very well written and really rushed. There is no real story or character development along the way and as the book drags on, the auther throws in every fantasy cliche under the sun in. With more writing experiance, the author should revisit and improve. The book has alot of potential, it is just a shame it's not there yet.