Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Age Group: Adult
Published: September 13, 2011 by Doubleday
Format: Hardcover, 387 pgs
Source: Library


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 RĂªves, 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.

Mini-Review: Captivating characters, gorgeous prose, and beautiful world building combine to make Erin Morgenstern's debut an enchanting novel I want to read again and again.

My Thoughts:

I have been excited about this book since I first heard about it. Not because every person that read it said it was phenomenal or because the cover is absolutely stunning, but because I was hooked by the end of the first paragraph of the description. I was instantly intrigued by a circus that could arrive without warning and only operated at night. And I have to say, I don't even recall ever going to a circus as a kid, so I'm not particularly fascinated by them.

When I started reading, I was blown away by the prose. The writing is almost lyrical, like the book itself is something out of the circus. As a writer, I am in awe of Morgenstern's ability to craft sentences that flow seamlessly together and have such rich description and voice. Even though The Night Circus is a very character driven book -- skipping back and forth through time in order to follow multiple characters and to slowly piece together the secrets and the fate of the circus -- it is written with such graceful skill that I was compelled to keep turning the pages. I needed to know how the circus began, what started the game, what new tricks Celia and Marco would come up with, what would happen to the circus when the game was over . . .

I loved every page of Morgenstern's debut and will happily list her as one of my favorite authors from now on; I will also be buying The Night Circus because I have to have a copy of my own. Whatever she writes next, you can bet I will be waiting to read it.

If you are not the kind of person who likes character driven plots or books that jump back and forth through time, this may not be for you. If you hate circuses and books with magic in them, this may not be the book for you. That being said, I have yet to speak with someone who did not love this book.

Visit the author online.
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


Kathryn said...

I. Loved. This. Book.

I read it in three days, and am reading it again to study it. It made my list of all-time favourite books.

Anonymous said...

This book is on my wish list. I badly want to read it. I keep hearing good things about it.

Amanda J. said...

Katryn, I DEVOURED it. It was amazing. Glad you loved it! :D

Medeia, I cannot wait to see what you think about it. It was such a good book. I'll be buying my own copy as soon as I can so I can read it whenever I want.


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