Review: The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)

The Book

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published: Vintage, 2012
Genre: Literary fiction, speculative fiction

Synopsis (from back of book, to save time!):

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 Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition 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.

What I thought:

I found this book a little slow moving to start, but ended up really loving it, and staying up well into the wee hours to finish it. It’s delightfully inventive, but the real magic is the story of love and yearning, and the collision of worlds explored by the Celia/Marco love affair. The scenes described in the text are also stunning, and if you have a graphic imagination then reading this book is as visually orgasmic as a Baz Lurhmann film :) In fact, it would probably make a great Baz Lurhmann film.

If you love a tug at the heart strings and to let your imagination go a little crazy, this is a charming, whimsical read.

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