Regular price: $50.39

Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free, plus 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals to get you started.
  • After trial, you'll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice.
  • Don't like your audiobook? Swap it for free.
  • Cancel anytime and keep your audiobooks.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times best-selling Kushiel's Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces listeners to an epic world where exiled gods live among humans, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last chapter concludes.  

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.

©2018 Jacqueline Carey (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    109
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Don't expect it to be like her other books

I enjoyed the first part of the book but the second was a slog. Still a reasonably enjoyable book but by the end I just wanted it to be over.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Lynden, WA, United States
  • 07-09-18

Enough "my darling"

The narration was tough for me. She was terrific for the majority of the characters but the others... became caricatures, and annoying ones at that. This, combined with the author's extreme use of the endearment "my darling" began to turn this amazing story into a slog. I think we can all agree that JC is a phenomenal world builder and original beyond compare. However, the pacing seemed a little off, and a little unraveled, for me at about the halfway mark. By the time the climax was reached, I felt surprised, but also still wasn't sure who some of the support characters were if only referred to by name and not description. I just didn't care enough. I think I would have liked this book better if I'd read the physical copy as I could have allowed my eye to skim over the "my darling" and not be so irritated by the men's voices that are done as an 8 year old would if they were dressing up as an elderly, cranky, neighbor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Starless

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Eh...

While far from bad, don't believe all the hype; it isn't the 'greatest fantasy novel' either. Starts well - Kai is interesting, along with some of the other characters we meet during the first half of the story. The second half... I found it difficult to further invest in the story; many of the newer characters are flat. Which - I get it - there's not enough time to make everyone three-dimensional, but Zariya's development was lacking. The longer it went, the less I cared.

As for the performance - much the same. While far from bad, at least two voices were... Let's say - vaguely reminiscent of fingernails on a blackboard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing stand alone novel by Jacqueline Carey

I love the way Carey brings worlds and characters to life! Here you have a very romance-mild (YA level) adventure and coming of age story set in a world where the gods have fallen to earth to bless thier lands and peoples.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another hit!

Have loved her books for years and have been waiting for a new book! Loved this new story looking forward to seeing where this will go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow ...what an author! & narrator.

No spoiler here just an outstanding story. The author and the narrative is top o e the charts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jacqueline Carey does it again

No one tells a story like Jacqueline Carey. It is a wonderful love story. As a member of the LGBTQ community, the worlds she creates is often a safer place for me than that of my own reality. The performance is spot on and Caitlin Davies handles the fantasy languages well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

I love Carey's books and Davies is an amazing narrator. This is one world I would love to hear more of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 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.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 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.