Book Review || 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 Reves,” 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. – goodreads


I’d head good reviews about The Night Circus, with many comparing it to a historical Harry Potter. Whilst I wasn’t quite that convinced, I thought I’d give it a read and form my own opinion. I found it to actually be wonderfully well written, with a very ethereal feel to it throughout. It was imaginative and tantilising, with a sense of confusion and disorientation, which fits the theme completely. The whole story isn’t about the people, it’s about a thing – the circus. Unlike most other similar books, the narrator simply tells the story of the circus, and the people’s lives within it seem to fit around it rather than centering on them. Yes, there’s a love story, but it couldn’t be classed as a romance novel as the majority of tale isn’t about their relationship.

The funny thing about the circus is that it isn’t really a circus at all. It’s a binding of characters lives and a challenge encased by tents and performers who produce extraordinary magic that’s masquerading as illusions. The atmosphere sweeps you up and is rather bewildering for quite a long time, but it’s also one of those stories that the longer you read, the better it gets. For at least the first half I was convinced I didn’t like it, yet after it was finished, I definitely missed delving into the weird and unexplained world it creates.

The Night Circus is one to read if you like mysterious magical historical stories that will both dazzle and confuse you with its deep description and long list of elaborate characters.

Rating: 8.5/10

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