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Book Reviews

An experimental and emotional tale that hits the mark

the night library of sternendach

The Night Library of Sternendach

by Jessica Levai

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In starry Sternendach, as long as

The vampire Graf has ruled this land

The Heller clan, with weapons strong as

Their wills, have killed his kindred and

Been killed in turn. The two sides nearly

Destroyed themselves. The Graf saw clearly

The need to make the killing cease,

And forced a pact to keep the peace.

The youngest of the Heller faction

Is Kunigunde. Trained to fight

It never suited her aright.

She can’t deny her soul’s attraction

For books and poetry, and for

The Graf, who gave her these and more.”― 

Jessica LévaiThe Night Library of Sternendach: A Vampire Opera in Verse


Kunigunde is destined to become the next in a long line of Heller clan vampire hunters—but her soul is drawn to books, poetry, and the vampire Graf. Set in 1960s Europe, The Night Library of Sternendach is an unabashedly melodramatic opera-in-sonnets that weaves a sweeping, suspenseful tale readers won’t be able to put down.

My Thoughts

The Night Library of Sternendach by Jessica Lévai is a lyrically beautiful book that tells a cohesive story in long verse. That is quite a feat in itself. But what is magnificent about The Night Library is that it is so engaging.

The vampire/paranormal genre is saturated with stories. It takes on the same ideas, mostly taking the classic vampire-type story’s mythos and putting a contemporary twist on it. There is a whole lot of that in the urban fantasy genre. But, I got to say I have never read a vampire story in verse. I loved the innovative nature of it.

The Night Library of Sternendach is an emotionally grand tale. It is epic in its telling in the form of a romanticist lens. There is minimal backstory and worldbuilding, and it isn’t necessary. I got enough backstory from the first twenty pages to get a solid foundation for the tale. From there, it was a swirl of lyrical descriptions and dialog. I laughed; it was heartfelt and quite beautiful.

I don’t think this type of story will appeal to everyone. Reading a long-form story in verse takes some getting used to, and I found it much better to take sips of the tale than gulping it all down in a single sitting. But, if you are looking for something a bit experimental, give this story a try.

Check Out My Other Reviews

Review The Sin of America by Catherynne M. Valente

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Beth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on: Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest  / Twitter

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