Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
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. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love.
But 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.
Rating: 🌑 🌑 🌑 🌑 🌑
This is going to be messy but bear with me!
Alright, let me start off by saying that this book was magic. Simple as that. Seriously, the writing?? Experience it my friends. Just experience it for your selves. Furthermore, this is a book you have to read twice to really comprehend and appreciate the… magic (yes. Twice) behind it – never was I confused by everything so much so that I had to constantly go back and re read some parts! Now, enough about my lack of plot-grasping-abilities and let me tell you (in very few words since Night Circus is very hard to summarise) why you are missing out if you’ve still not read it!
The setting and context:
The story is told in various timelines (it starts out in 1873 then goes back and forth between current time and the past) through many MANY POVs as well as a reader in the crowd which gives a feeling of personal presence. And although it is mainly about our two leads Marco and Celia and their duel, it is the circus that has the leading position in the story. It is the focal point of everything and has a life of its own.
The tone and mood of the book are as intriguing as its characters. Everything and everyone is puzzling. The tone changes from fascinating and mysterious to anxious and depressing to hopeful. The mood varies from gloomy to romantic and from desperate to peaceful.
The plot and characters:
If you think this is high-paced, action packed thrill of a ride, you’ll be sorely disappointed. The plot chains start out so loosely that you can see little to no connection to them besides the two obvious ones with Marco and Celia. And as nothing is plainly revealed in one instant, you get more and more confused as the book goes on; (SO MANY POVs and time jumps!) and as each chapter leaves you with more questions than answers, you find yourself asking what the hell is going on?? But bear with it all because while you’re so eagerly and attentively focusing on two strings, Morgenstern brings all of those other little strings and slowly starts weaving them in together.
Each character, though overwhelming at times has his/her role to play in the grand scheme of things and no one feels like a placeholder. And while some might disagree, I don’t think that there is a clear-cut villain here (alright, maybe with the exception of one). But although the antagonists feel villainous, nothing is black and white. They are enigmatic and indecipherable and as the story starts to weave in we get to, more or less see why and how they became to be who they are.
Slow-burn (if any) romance:
Alright, now, I don’t even know if I should really say romance because the romance really takes a back seat to the main plot. Plus, the story starts when our two lovebirds are practically just children so it takes a long while for things to really develop (hence the slow-burn) However! when you get that small snippet (practically few pages) of this ill-fated love, it is one light-flickering (literally), fate changing romance that will either make you gush or practically scream of rage.
The writing style:
Now I know I’ve said that this book is magic and it is – but it is largely the writing and the style in which the story is told that makes it magical! it is seriously some of the best writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It is immersive, atmospheric and just… pure enchanting. It flows so perfectly and uses some of the most gorgeous wordplays. Truly stunning.
But don’t take my word for any of it, just go ahead and experience it for yourself!