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A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw
Young adult

A Wilderness of Stars

by Shea Ernshaw
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Quick take

An unexpected omen forces a young woman to leave her home and claim her destiny to put the stars back in alignment.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Quest



If magic lives anywhere, it’s in the stars . . .

Vega has lived in the valley her whole life—forbidden by her mother to leave the safety of its borders because of the unknown threats waiting for her in the wilds beyond. But after her mother dies, and Vega sees the fabled twin stars in the sky, it’s an omen she can no longer ignore, forcing her to leave the protective boundaries of the valley. But the outside world turns out to be much more terrifying than Vega could have imagined. People are gravely sick—they lose their eyesight and their hearing, just before they lose their lives.

What Vega keeps to herself is that she is the Last Astronomer—a title carried from generation to generation—and she is the only one who carries the knowledge of the stars. Knowledge that could hold the key to the cure. And so when locals spot the tattoo on Vega’s neck in the shape of a constellation—the mark of an astronomer—chaos erupts as the threats her mother warned her about become all too real.

Fearing for her life, Vega is rescued by a girl named Cricket who leads her to Noah, a boy marked by his own mysterious tattoos. On the run from the men who are hunting her, Vega, Cricket, and Noah set out across the plains in search of the cure the stars speak of. But as the lines between friend and protector begin to blur, Vega must decide whether to safeguard the sacred knowledge of the astronomer. Or if she will risk everything to try to save them all.

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Why I love it

Shea Ernshaw’s signature prose and peerless worldbuilding are two of the big draws readers should look forward to in A Wilderness of Stars. I’m a fan of all of Ernshaw’s titles, and this one is a worthy addition to her fantastic catalog.

The adventure begins in a remote yet tranquil valley, where Vega, the last Astronomer, spots something in the sky that she and her mother have been waiting for her whole life—the arrival of the sister stars. The sighting ignites a fate that will take Vega on a journey in search of a mysterious figure called the Architect.

On her shoulders rests a generations-deep destiny every woman in her family bore before her. With the loss of her mother, Vega’s birthright as an Astronomer will drive her into the unknown far from the protection of the valley she’s always known. A slowly unfurling world that feels both fresh and classic at the same time is the backdrop of her treacherous adventure. Along the way, she’ll find love, friendship, and truths about herself that she never could have imagined.

From the valley to the sea, A Wilderness of Stars is filled with a sense of nostalgia, discovery, and relatable heartache that makes this a story I’m already excited to re-read.

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