Thursday, 8 December 2011

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker; First Edition edition (15 Sep 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 184655523X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846555237

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.
Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter's daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer's apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love...
A fabulous, fin-de-siècle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.

 The Night Circus was a beautiful work of fantasy, impossible love and best of all…magic.

The circus arrives with no warning. No announcements precede its arrival. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Patrons of the circus grow entranced by the acrobats, amazed by the illusionist, intrigued by the fortune teller. The Night Circus is not like others – the only colours are black and white, it only opens at night and it has countless number of tents that amaze and astound.

But there is more to the circus than meets the eye. It is also the place of a fierce competition – a duel of magics and the entire circus is their game board. Celia and Marco were selected when they were only children to compete against each other by two old masters. Both are educated differently, one by books, one by pain, but both are talented in their own ways. Around each other, Celia and Marco are free to be entirely themselves. Intoxicated by this freedom, they tumble headfirst into love.

The Night Circus is by far the best book I have read this year, by a very long shot. Its mix of fantasy and reality and dizzying love and heartache swirls around the reader until it feels as though they could be sitting in the circus itself, perhaps at the Wishing Tree or warming by the bonfire eating chocolate mice.

Anyone who reads this book is guaranteed to become entranced and hypnotised by the charm of the poetic prose. I for one cannot to re-read this amazing book. 

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