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.” – book blurb
So the stage is set for a strange and wonderful story. The circus is a spectacle on its own, but it is also the venue for a secret duel between magicians – real magicians, wielding real magic. Celia and Marco know only that they have been bound to a challenge by their mentors, and must somehow out-do one another. The narrative flits between following these two contestants as they add new and stranger tents to the circus, and come to know one another; it also follows a few select of the circus’ admirers, dreamers who somehow only feel at home in this mysterious place. Morgenstern weaves together mystery, enchantment and love, an undefined yearning and an impending disaster, all with beautiful prose. And while you don’t get to know any of the characters intimately, all of them have depth and you find yourself as invested in the more minor characters as you do the two main ones. I would’ve liked a little more clarity on the two mentors, but that’s a fairly minor point. It’s just beautifully done overall, and reading it feels exactly like having a strange dream.
I give it 4/5 stars.