Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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 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.

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

“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.”
There are SO MANY characters in this book that one would worry about forgetting who’s who. I did. Worried about it I mean. But I need not have; for every character is created with such precision and described so wonderfully that each one of them is unforgettable. There are little quirks and characteristics that are unique to each character that even when the name wasn’t mentioned, the readers would know who the author is talking about.

I don’t think there were ‘main characters’ in the book. Each person plays a role that affects the plot in one way or the other. There’s Marco with his charming looks and a mysterious attitude, Celia with her troubled childhood and a kind heart, the Murray twins with their unusual gifts and gorgeous kittens, Chandresh with her wonderful midnight dinners and rich ideas, and so many more characters who will always stay with me.

Most of all, I think it’s the circus that is the most prominent character. It is a setting but it’s also the entity around which everything evolves.

“You're in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough.”
The plot in interesting but be warned, it’s slow. Reading the summary one might assume the duel between Marco and Celia to be intense but that is not the case. It isn’t exactly a duel but only a show of their powers. The story takes its own sweet time playing out and honestly I expected that to hinder me for I like my stories fast paced. But I ended up loving the enchanting atmospheric quality of the story. I loved how everything was connected and the author had literally woven a tapestry of different stories together; each character has a story that is connected to the others in a magical manner!

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
The writing is eloquent and extremely descriptive. The midnight dinners at Chandresh’s had my mouth water and the description of the circus had me pining to be there. Be warned that if you do not enjoy extremely descriptive prose, the book might seem boring to you. BUT knowing me, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the extreme descriptions but I LOVED THEM! It’s definitely the most beautiful writing I’ve ever come across. It’s the kind of writing that washes over you and creates pictures in your head; the kind of writing that pulls you into a dream. The descriptions of the food and the attractions at the circus were the best of all!!

- Everything

- Pretty much nothing

An eloquently crafted story with vivid descriptions and a slow but beautiful plot. There isn't much action or even that much romance as the summary says, but the idea of the circus and the writing itself is romantic.

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