Thursday, 27 September 2012

review: The Night Circus

The Night CircusName: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Publication: September 13th 2011 by Doubleday

Source: Purchased

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


“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.” 

I'm at loss for words. Nothing I could possibly say could do this phenomenal novel any justice. It's just so beautifully written and exquisite, any review would be an understatement.

The Night Circus follows two magicians, Celia & Marco, as they duel in a deadly battle that they have been trained for since childhood, each by their respect instructors whom have nothing in mind but winning at all costs. The battle takes place behind the scenes of a beautiful circus, Le Cirque des Rêves (The circus of Dreams), where each must use their own forms of magic to outdue the other, while holding the circus in check- until only one is left standing. Despite the battle between the two and the high stakes, love takes both the magicians by surprise and may be the essence of their distruction, along with the preforms and patrons who's lives lay entangled within this deadly battle.

Never have I read a book with such beautiful description and ambience. I kid you not, Morgenstern could very well be describing paint drying and you'd still be flipping pages like a maniac. The atmosphere, the characters, the writting-- all of it: Pure Perfection.

“Everything I have done, every change I have made to that circus, every impossible feat and astounding sight, I have done for her.”

The novel jumps back and forth between past and future, as the novel progresses towards the one future time-frame where the climax takes place. Usually such a writting style ticks me off; but the way Morgenstern writes makes it easy to follow, no matter what the time-frame and what character is being followed.
The novel follows various vital characters that all connect back to Celia and Marco, and their competition. A couple chapters were also told from a patrons perspective, as to what they see when they enter this glorious circus. Morgenstern is an EXCELLENT writter, and I just cannot wait to read more of her work. She makes all this perspective/character jumping, and time-frame shifting so easy to follow and somehow makes it all flow together so beautifully-- it's hard not to be entranced.

I'm usually not fan of extensive description, but TRUST ME, it's just as important as Celia and Marco.
I adored all the other characters that played roles throughout Celia and Marco's competition: Isobel, whom I pitied, Poppet and Widget whom you get to watch grow up and play their own vital roles in the circus, Bailey, who's story starts in the future and ends along side Poppet, Widget, Celia & Marco and all the other Circus preformers that made the atmosphere and story as beautiful and complex as it was.

I can't stress enough how phenomenal this story truly is. I was extremely pleased with the ending and literly fell in love with all the characters and the atmosphere. My top 4 novels have officially become top 5. Hopefully I'll be able to keep from comparing every novel I read from now on to this one... I'm not sure any novel can satisfy me as The Night Circus has.

“But dreams have ways of turning into nightmares.”


  1. I am on my way to reading this. I'm glad that you love this book. :D

  2. I really loved this book too! I have to agree, I've never read such a beautifully written book before. I did find the jumping around a bit confusing - and I even read this book in two complete sittings! Sometimes I think the ending was a bit of a cop out and that a "romeo & juliet" ending would have been even better...but maybe not. IMDB says there's going to be a movie coming out next year on this book! I never say this, but I think this book has the potential to translate amazingly well onto the big screen. I'd love to see the circus and illusions *come alive*.

    Great review! :) (And my you are quick at writing these once you finish reading!) ;)

    1. There are times when I'd get confused at the jumping as well, but then I'd go back and look at the date and figure it out. Compared to other books though, i Feel that it was executed quite well!
      NO! an R&J ending would have been disasterous! a tragic ending in this novel would have seriously depressed me for some time. I like that it had a happy ending... kind of.
      Hmm... I heard. I'm having mixed emotions. I want to see how they'll play out the circus, but I really dont wan't a beautiful story butchered!

      Thanks! ahahahahhaa I had to write as soon as I finished. Best time to review a book is when you're flippin' over the ending ;)

    2. Hahaha "...depressed for some time"...ya I know, you're probably right :(