I love when people recommend books to me! Family, friends, bloggers, co-workers… This particular novel was recommended by a co-worker when she found out I had a book blog 🙂 So, when we were out in New York, I picked up a copy during one of our bookstore escapades.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, 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.
As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.
But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.
Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern’s spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.
Wow! This is one of the most whimsical, clever, magical, and creative pieces I’ve ever read. Morgenstern weaves a mesmerizing story through her black and white circus back drop, a world devoid of color except for an occasional splash from passing circus goers. Her descriptive prose draws you into the novel, strung along through a story spanning decades, beginning in the 1800’s with a wonderful air of history, and dancing all the way through the lifespan of the circus. The writing style is poetic, painting the circus in vivid imagery, and flipping back and forth between third person and second person point of view with expert ease.
Despite the black and white background, the characters are incredibly colorful and realistic. The reader can see the intricate costumes, each unique tent, and every death-defying act. As for the main characters, Celia is an independent, intelligent, young woman who has struggled under the strict and unloving hand of her domineering father. Marco is an orphan “saved” by a mysterious man in dark suit clothes to begin a life of intense study and difficult planning. Their lives collide in the midst of the circus’s magic and beauty in a tale of romance that begins sweet and subtle. This book is a slow burn,but don’t let that fool you. It will keep you hooked through each twist and turn, building up to it’s ultimately explosive conclusion.
I can not even begin to shout out how much I loved this book. Five out of five stars! This book is perfect for anyone looking to rediscover some wonder and magic in their life. Highly recommended!