Title: The Night Circus.
Author: Erin Morgenstern.
Genre: Fantasy, Romance.
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.
But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.”
Where do I even start with this review? I fell deeply in love with this book, its characters and the world Morgenstern has created. I’ve chosen to review this because although it was published a while ago, it’s one that I haven’t really seen many reviews about but people seem to have read and thoroughly enjoyed.
The mystery of the Night Circus is utterly enchanting, however, there were a few minor issues; I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on in the beginning and found it slightly difficult to get into. While the descriptions of places, feelings, senses, clothing were beautiful, the descriptions of characters appearances were very brief. On the one hand, this allows for each individual reader to create their own details for each character, but with the vast descriptions of everything else I found it trickier to imagine the characters within these backgrounds. Other than this, I found the book absolutely wonderful.
The story is not the prominent purpose for this book making it one to just read and enjoy the ride, appreciating every twist and turn. I went in to this book with no expectations and having not read any reviews on it and I’m very glad I did; it made it easier for me to enjoy and appreciate rather than wanting to read it as quick as possible to find out what happens in the end.
The characters in this book are some of the most difficult characters I’ve ever thought to analyse. There are so many and they all have completely different back stories and roles in the circus, some appear very often yet we know nothing about them. My favourite characters have to be Poppet and Widget, the Murray twins. I love that we could see them develop and grow up, while the other characters remain somewhat stagnant due to the powers one of our protagonists, Marco, holds over the circus; this brings me to the all-important theme of time, but I’ll get to that in a later paragraph. Poppet and Widget’s abilities both contrast and compliment each other, while Poppet can read the future in the stars, Widget can read people’s pasts. These two grow into enthusiastic and well-driven adults, the perfect duo to inherit the circus and accompany Bailey. The protagonists, Celia and Marco, have absolutely no idea what is going on throughout their adventure which, as a reader, allows for me to sympathise with them more. The challenge they have been bound to remains a complete mystery throughout the book and we’re left wondering which one will die and allow the other to win. The developing romance between the two make the story more intriguing and the ending incredibly satisfying. However, I am still left wondering many things about the circus, another one of the many reasons this book is so great.
I still haven’t managed to form my opinions on Celia and Murray so I’ll either update this post when I have or I’ll let you know on Twitter. I’d love to know what you made of these two characters!
The theme of time is integral throughout, but we only become aware of it right at the very end; time is used very cleverly in this book, linking the past and future together and allowing them to intertwine perfectly. Marco had put an enchantment over the circus that meant those within would age very very slowly which makes the whole thing seem stagnant and would be almost ‘over-ripe’ if it weren’t for the number of contrasting elements for example, the monochromatic themes and the development of the circus itself. I won’t go too deep into this because I could go on about it for days and days and days!
The idea of the Night Circus brings out ideas of mystery and the unknown, making it well and truly magical to read about. This is one book I would love to see developed into a film if it were done correctly.
I would love to know your thoughts on this book, if you’ve reviewed it on a blog/Goodreads then leave a link in the comments!