Night Circus, The

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. 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.


Reviewed: 2019-06-18

Literary Reviews: Locus Award for Best First Novel (2012), Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Longlist (2012), Guardian First Book Award Nominee for Longlist (2011), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Adult Literature (2012), ALA Alex Award (2012), Lincoln Award Nominee (2014), The Kitschies Nominee for Golden Tentacle (Debut) (2011), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Fantasy and for Favorite Book (2011), International DUBLIN Literary Award Nominee (2013) 

We used to have a joke in music school, "it's a fun little ditty." For some reason that's the only way I can sum up this novel. It is novel - in the adjective sense. It's interesting because of the fantasy, and it's a fun, if not world-changing read that kept me turning pages at a rate that surprised even me. 

The main gripe I heard from book club members is that there is no reason for the whole thing to happen (the set up for the book) but I've learned that many people hurt others or cause "collateral damage" for their own purposes or just because they want to. So I had no problem buying the premise. After all, this is a book about a magical circus.

While there is a romance, the romance, for me, was found more in the circus and the mist surrounding the characters than in their relationships. I did have some issues with the ending. I couldn't figure out what made one character "the one" - and that's all I can say without spoiling. So it was working its way toward more stars, but probably landed at about 3.5. Still I'm very glad I finally read it. It is a very entertaining book.

Reviewed: 2018-09-13

Of all the good things I heard about this book, I can't say I entirely agree. Yes, the story was good....but it was also so confusing. I had a very hard time keeping up with it. I think the biggest thing was that the point of view kept changing so often and I wasn't quite sure whose point of view it was. Another thing was that the timeline seemed to change and didn't always match up. I know that was for the sake of the story, but I wasn't too fond of it. 

Overall, the story was good. It wasn't great, but it was good. It was also complicated and with all of the added elements and character POVs, that ruined it for me.

Reviewed: 2017-08-06
I love this book more every time I read it!

At first you think this is a story about the circus. Then you think it is about a contest between two skilled competitors. But it's about magic. And relationships. And so much more. And it's beautifully written. Don't go into this book expecting action--it's a slow start. Allow the gorgeous descriptions to fill your imagination. Delight in the details. In fact, read this book, then read it again. The seemingly loose plot threads tie together at the end and give you the beautiful present that is this book.

Highly recommend if you love fantasy and good writing.
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