Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Publishing Date: 2011
Synopsis: Le Cirque Des Revs is a traveling attraction open only at night. It arrives without warning. It leaves without notice. But within its black and white striped tents is a world that blends the boundaries between reality and imagination. And two young magicians—Celia and Marco—are bound to the circus as dueling competitors in a high-stakes game of which neither understands the rules or more importantly, the consequences.
Remember when you were a young kid and you read a book that transported you somewhere surreal, somewhere wonderful, somewhere magical? That’s how I felt when reading this book. Its pages hold ideas and settings that are more vivid and unique and fantastic than those of my own dreams. It made me long to visit Le Cirque Des Revs—or at least hope that someone adapts this dreamlike story into a film.
After a slow start (first 50 or so pages), this book picks up pace as you begin to see how the different characters are woven together with the night circus as the unifying thread. And by the time you’re grasping the overarching plot—two dueling magicians are fighting unknowingly in a competition to the death—it’s a full-blown magical, star-crossed love roller coaster ride.
I enjoyed the plot. I enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed the writing. But mostly, I enjoyed this book for its imaginative scenes within the circus walls: the ice garden, the merry-go-round, the cloud room, the grandfather clock. Morgenstern portrays magic and illusion in such a unique, intimate way that you can’t help but believe it must be real.
Overall: 4 out of 5
Who Should Read This Book: Adults who love logic-defying, limitless, magical stories. Those who are looking for a 19th Century romance novel that reads like a fantasy-mystery-thriller. Anyone who wants to be transported to a literary world of creative brilliance that’s so beautiful, you’ll want to savor every last word.