Genre – Young Adult, Fantasy
Published by Vintage Books, Random House
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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Written in third person, The Night Circus is set in a world where magic exists, not the kind taught at Hogwarts though.
The main plot of the story is fairly straightforward. Two magicians Celia and Marco have been groomed in the art of magic since they were children. Groomed by opposing parties to fight each other to death but they fall in love instead (no surprise there). The venue of this fight is the circus, providing the ultimate battleground.
But I think it’s the elements other than the main plot that make the book special. The subplot of the twins born at the circus along Bailey (my favourite character), who was just a circus visitor and how all their fates were intertwined with the circus.
Erin Morgenstern brought Le Cirque des Rêves to life with brilliant use of visual imagery. The whole glamourous and extravagant feel of the circus described was really captivating. However, I do feel that the magic element of the story could have been more prominent and I’d have loved to know more about the details of the circus.
It was sometimes difficult to understand what exactly was going on but for me, that added to the mystery element of the book. I also loved the concept of rêveurs, which is essentially the fandom name of the circus and what the fans of the circus called themselves. There is also some murder involved during the course of the story, although it’s no mystery so as to who did it.
The book reminded me slightly of Romeo and Juliet except… well, spoilers. The ending was great in terms that it gave me closure and wasn’t entirely what I’d expected.
I can’t tell you how many times while reading it, the book had me wishing that the circus was real.
All in all, Night Circus is an enigmatic experience I would recommend every fantasy lover to have.
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