The Night Library of Sternendach: A Vampire Opera in Verse (Paperback)
Jessica Lévai’s debut novel, The Night Library of Sternendach is told entirely in verse – an exciting form of novel dating back to Homer’s works which has seen a revival in recent years. The story is told in Pushkin sonnets, a close mathematical cousin of the Shakespearean sonnet. Stressed syllables rhyme in this case and lines are divided in groups of fourteen. Lévai uses tetrameter with four stressed syllables per line. Rather than hindering the storytelling experience, Lévai’s poetic language and masterfully crafted sonnets enhance and enliven the story of Kunigunde and the Graf, two individuals at the opposite ends of a supernatural spectrum.
Lévai’s debut work is enchanting. The smooth rhythmic lines transport the reader to the heart of a fictional 1960’s European countryside where our protagonists do not have the benefit of the internet or other modern comforts. The characters often correspond with each other via letter, giving the novel an air of antiquity despite its relatively modern setting. The Night Library of Sternendach is a triumph of modern supernatural fiction as well as supernatural romance. Don’t wait for Halloween for this one.— Nik