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 night circus was truly a wonderful read! I have always been fascinated by the circus, specifically the type with only human performers (this one has that, save for a few birds and kittens) and I loved every moment of reading this novel. The author is really good at creating an environment and setting the scene and I found myself lost in the story at times because the descriptions were great.
I found the story a bit difficult to follow in the beginning, but that was because I didn’t notice that all of the chapters have different time stamps and locations. But as soon as I realized, I could follow the story properly. You get introduced to a very varied cast and interesting characters and the author focuses just enough on each of them to let you get a feel of how they are.
There are some gruesome events happening in the novel but most of it is implied, like one sentence that gave me chills at the end of one chapter. It went something along the lines of “But she didn’t see the train”. Ending a chapter like that just left me with a terrible feeling in my stomach and I knew something terrible had happened.
I’d recommend this for anyone who loves circuses and somewhat endearing love stories. I would definitely like to re-experience this one, it just resonated really well with me!
Also, the only thing playing in my head while reading this is this song from a Korean group called Sunny Hill.