Oh. My. Goodness. This book, you guys. This book.
I flew through The Night Circus in a matter of days. It was too quick, really. I should’ve taken my time with it but I got so caught up in the whirlwind world that Morgenstern created. It was beautiful and simple and complex all at once.
I had seen it here and there and this year finally decided to read it. I’m trying to motivate myself into finishing my own book by reading other books that started as NaNoWriMo projects. Well that or books that are self published. Really, I’ve been reading a lot of books by people in the NaNoWriMo writer’s group. So, with that in mind I picked up The Night Circus. It was actually my first book purchase of the New Year.
I should have made it last longer.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
At it’s very core, this book is about a duel between two young magicians who are pitted against each other for this game by their instructors. One, Celia, is a natural…she is born with the ability. The other, Marco, has the drive that is needed to learn how to do it. A neutral venue is selected and they must work to outdo the other, with the rule that they cannot embellish or tamper with each other’s work. The venue for this particular game is a circus: Le Cirque des Rêves.
It becomes so much more than a duel though as Celia and Marco find themselves beginning to fall headfirst for each other. Everyone around them gets held in the balance though as they learn that their actions can-and do-have consequences.
The rest of the cast is incredibly colorful as well. We have Celia’s father and instructor, Prospero the Enchanter, and Marco’s instructor Mr. A. H (who is also called Alexander and referred to as “the man in the grey suit”.). Both of who can be a bit…off putting at times. Then there are those who make the circus come together: Proprietor Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre, the retired and fashionable ballerina Mme. Ana Padva, renowned engineer and architect Ethan Barris, and the observant consulting sisters Tara and Lainie Burgess. The other characters that also play large roles are the contortionist Tsukiko, the clockmaker Herr Friedrick Thiessen, the fortune teller Isobel, a young dreamer named Bailey, and the twins Widget and Poppet.
As time goes on, every step, every move that the two magicians make can end up making or breaking everything. And when they find out how the game is supposed to end, how the winner is decided, one of them might make a drastic move that could spell the end of everything.
At its heart, The Night Circus is a beautiful love story, romantic at every turn. It leaves you breathless and wishing for more, while at the same time it’s so beautiful tied up in one amazing standalone.