All content on this blog was created and/or compiled by Project to be Read. No images, text or quotations may be copied or reproduced without written permission. Authors and publishers may use parts of reviews for quotations as long as I am notified.
Title: The Night Circus Author: Erin Morgenstern Publisher: Harvill Secker ISBN: 978-1-846-55523-7 Pages: 387 Series: N/A Type: Adult Fantasy Source: Purchased Goodreads
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements preceed it...it is simply
there, when yesterday it was not. Le Cirque des Rêves is only open at night, is
construced only in black and white and has been chosen as the setting for a
contest between Celia, the enchanter's daughter and Marco, the sorcerer's
apprentice. The circus delights all who wander it's circular paths stumbling
into tents filled with ice or clouds or silent pools. But this is no ordinary
circus and it casts a spell upon all who enter.
As soon as I finished
reading I realised this would be a hard review to write. I was expecting a book
set in a circus about two duelling magic workers and instead I found a book
about a circus that happens to have duelling magic workers. This isn't
necessarily a bad thing, just unexpected. The narrative is much like a visit to
the Night Circus itself - evocative, dreamlike and slightly confusing. There are
multiple storylines told interchangably, all taking place in different places at
different times yet interlinking meaning there is no linear timeline
I loved the sections that gave views into the circus, as though the
reader themself was visiting. It meant certain tents and attractions like the
snake charmers or hall of mirrors are able to be explored outside of the main
story. The circus itself is beautifully created and feels incredibly realistic.
The author has managed to create visceral descriptions of sights and smells that
plunge the reader into the heart of the circus.
Celia and Marco's stories
are told from when they are small children. The challenge is created in their
childhood so their individual development as workers of magic is shown. I've
seen this marketed as a romance which isn't the first thing that comes to mind
when reading. There are romantic aspects but this is not a romance novel. It is
the challenge that echoes throughout Celia and Marco's lives, even when they
don't fully understand what the challenge is or what their roles will
My favourite story threads were those of the rêveurs and that of a
young boy called Bailey who is obsessed with the circus. Excerpts from the
writings of the lead rêveur Friedrick Thiessen are scattered throughout the
book, along with a storyline from his perspective, and show the circus from an
outsider's perspective which creates a delightful contrast from Celia's insider
view. Bailey is probably my favourite character of the whole book. He becomes
enchanted with the circus at a young age and finds himself drawn into it's
All in all this is an enchanting read that I recommend to anyone
looking for a touch of magic.
All reviews state the origin of the book. The majority of my reviews are for books that I have purchased for myself. Some are borrowed from libraries or friends, others are given as gifts. Any books received for review are given in exchange for an honest review. I do not charge for reviews and receive no monetary dispensation from Project to be Read.