The Night Circus is arguably one of the most popular and well-loved stories in the book community so truthfully, I was slightly intimidated to pick it up. ✨ After diving headfirst into the story, I can definitely understand the hype though I wouldn’t say I love it as much as everyone else.
Filled with lyrical narrative and an imaginative plotline, The Night Circus whisps you away to the Circus of Dreams where love, magic, and mystery are all intertwined. 🎪
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 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. 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.
The story starts with a challenge negotiated between two magicians though the terms and details of the challenge itself are unclear. 🌟 All that is known is that Celia, one magician’s daughter, is one contestant and another has not yet been chosen. We follow the second magician towards an orphanage where Marco is selected from the boys, and instantaneously, his training begins.
“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”
Many people love The Night Circus for its writing, and I can completely understand why they are moved by it. Erin Morgenstern paints stories with words from the magical atmosphere of circus festivities to moments of inquisitive discovery with the side characters. 🎨
However, I felt that the writing was too flowery and there was too much narrative. This is something that comes down to personal preference, but at multiple points in the story, I was waiting for the author to stop describing and to start moving the story along.
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”
It felt as if there were rarely any interactions between the characters, specifically the two main love interests, because they had such few moments for conversation. Part of me kept hoping for more dialogue rather than only descriptions.
Still, I was massively impressed with the plotline, and I thought the execution of the competition was one of a kind. I loved seeing how Celia and Marco kept anticipating and reacting to each other’s actions and grand gestures in the circus–it’s almost as if we were reading about a game of chess unfolding. ♟
“To be rather than to seem.”
It’s interesting to watch the side characters eventually be incorporated into the overall plot, and throughout the story, I kept wondering what the exact competition was since it’s unclear in the beginning.
This is a story unlike any other, and I can understand why it’s well-adored. It’s such a popular book that I would definitely recommend reading it to experience the prose for yourself. 💖
“The circus arrives without warning.“