Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce c
ompetition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, 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. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
(summary from Goodreads)

Experience magic and the wonder of falling in love with Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.

Le Cirque des Reves travels the world and is an experience people never forget. It shows up only at night. One evening the circus isn't there, the next morning it is. There is no distinct schedule, where it will be and for how long is a mystery. It is also
only open at night. Filled with characters, illusions, acts and tents that transport you to another world of wonder, the circus is as if a dream. Le Cirque des Reves is unlike another and so much more than it seems. In actuality, the circus is the venue for a years long competition between two magicians, students of another two whose game has been ongoing for longer than anyone might realise. But as Celia and Marco compete over the years, they develop a relationship they or their mentors never could have imagined. A relationship that has far reaching consequences to all around them, including Bailey, who first experiences the circus at a young age. Bailey's life becomes inexplicably attached to the circus - and Poppet, a young girl raised within its gates. So come on in and visit Le Cirque des Reves - and be changed forever.

While I only mention Celia, Marco, Bailey and Poppet above - as they are the main characters - there are a heap more memorable characters thro
ughout The Night Circus, each with their own significant role to play, within the book and the circus both. Characters like Widget, Poppet's twin brother; Tsukiko, the contortionist; Herr Thiessen, the clockmaker; Isobel, the fortune teller...and that's still only a partial list! I adored Morgenstern's characters. Each is distinct and unforgettable, and while I might be hard-pressed to remember individual names sometime in the future, I doubt I'll forget the traits that makes each of them stand out amongst each other. It took time to really get to know them. Early on I found myself taking moments to remember who was who. I liked this about The Night Circus, though. It meant each character grew on me and I enjoyed slowly immersing myself in their story too. I will admit to favouring some characters over others. I'm completely in love with Celia and Marco. They're love story took my breath away and I know I'll be rereading it for that - I'm a hopeless romantic. I also adored Bailey, Poppet and Widget. I was always eager to get back to a chapter told from their point of view.

It was easy to connect with the awe and amazement of the story. It jumps from year to year, from their past to their present and back again, and also from point of view to point of view, so it may take some getting used to at first. Once I was hooked, I never wanted to stop reading. Sometimes I had to however, and I always made sure to leave it right at the end of a chapter, and it'd remain in my thoughts until I could read more. You'll
want to be sure and take your time with The Night Circus. As desperate as you might feel to learn all of the answers and find out how it concludes, it's worth savouring every word. Morgenstern has created art with her words. Every description imprints on your imagination. You will feel breathless; heartbroken; hopeful; saddened; angered; astonished; joyous; loving...and so much more. The Night Circus really is not just a book to be read but one to be experienced.

I can't even begin to suitably describe Le Cirque des Reves. I'm speechless at how a writer can capture and create such a thing. This circus is it's own character. It grows and changes as the story and characters do, reflecting every feeling of the moment. It is truly magical. I love how Morgenstern has included chapters from a second pers
on point of view to describe the circus, as if we're actually wandering through it one night somewhere. I tell you, I'd give anything. Oh, how I wish Le Cirque des Reves was real! At one point it was mentioned that it visits Australia...I cheered. This book is the embodiment of the circus - hence, the title, I guess! - and it weaves an enchantment.

Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus is wonderful, brilliant, fantastic, emotional, gorgeous, breathtaking, lyrical - any good word you can think of, it is it! The Night Circus is magic, pure and simple. It's had a lasting effect on me. I want to go out and visit a circus. I want to fall in love. I want to experience magic and wonder. I want to create. I can't recommend it enough. Experience it for yourself, and believe!


Publisher: Doubleday
Published date: 13 September 2011
Pages: 387
Format: Kindle edition


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this! Who knows when I'll find the time, I've been hearing good things and eyeing it off for a while, but your review made me very excited!


  2. @Michael Earp I'm glad to hear it! It really is a book not to be missed, so I hope you get the time to read it soon...I understand about trying to make time though! :-D

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. With so many points of view going on throughout the story, the end of the tale magnifies the main conflict in the story as all the pieces finally come together. Aside from the story itself, the characters are well developed and the constant change in locations as the circus travels allows for constant movement in the story. Overall this story is fantastic and I was sorry to see it end.

  4. @Espana Nicely said, and so true! :-D Thanks for sharing!