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.
“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.”
Enchanting! The Night Circus is what you can call a breathe of fresh air. It is one of those books that you will simply fall in love with after barely thirty seconds of reading. This is a perfect breather for those who often read YA fantasy. There are no princes and princesses, no romantic love triangles, just a handful of mysterious magic.
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”
The story is very unique and it is so well-written: the perfect ingredients of a good book, I must say. Morgenstern’s narrative is very descriptive that her every word takes you inside the circus itself, giving you a clear view of the striped tents and what’s happening inside, even letting you smell the caramel in the air. She doesn’t just plant you in the scene. She makes you a part of the scene, filling you with wonder and delight! I can’t help but feel excited at Morgenstern’s words in the first few pages of this book. Like she’s giving her readers an invitation to ride the adventure and experience a magical night. An invitation to uncover a mystery. Then she dived into giving her readers of what it is they’ve entered themselves into:
“More than a circus, really, like no circus anyone has ever seen. Not a single large tent but a multitude of tents, each with a particular exhibition. No elephants or clowns. No, something more refined than that. Nothing commonplace. This will be different, this will be an utterly unique experience, a feast for the senses. Theatrics sans theater, an immersive entertainment. We will destroy the presumptions and preconceived notions of what a circus is and make it something else entirely, something new.”
The synopsis promises a competition between the main characters Marco and Celia, in a game at which only one can be left standing, and neither of them knows the rules. So I was expecting a powerful competition between the two young illusionist. It’s a bit disappointing that the competition doesn’t turn out to be tough, and it is not even the center of the story. The romance between Marco and Celia wasn’t rushed (which I am grateful) but it would have been great if they have spent some more time with each other before they were removed from the physical world.
The story is quipped with interesting characters, each one veiled with equal amount of mystery. Others may chose Marco or Celia as their favorite, but I like Widget and his stories to tell.
Overall, this has been an insanely enjoyable and magical read.