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.
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, 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. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
My thoughts - I keep coming up with one word descriptions -
I read the hype and wondered if the advance on Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus could stand up to all the praise? Well, yes indeedie it can, and does.
I was hooked when I took the galley out of the publisher's mailer.
Don't get me wrong, the book has some flaws, but I can ignore them, and so should you. Morgenstern writes tight, but important sentences. With just a few words she is able to create mystical scenes in your mind. You can SEE the circus, you are there at the planning dinners, you can smell the spiced cider. You can see the burn marks on their fingers. You can feel the twists and contortions of Tsukiko's limber body, when Bailey sneaks into the circus as part of a "truth or dare," you are able to experience through his eyes, what splendor there is in the night circu. When I first started reading The Night Circus, I thought of the Edward Norton film, The Illusionist, as it has the beauty and allure the comes from two young people in love and bound by a strange history. But the book is so much more.
A couple of the issues I had was the need to constantly track the time frame, as Morgenstern flips back and forth in the time frame of the story. Some passages are without a time reference at all. And I often felt as if the story moved too slowly. I wanted things to move on...to be a more cohesive flow through, rather than what I saw as a series of scenes, as if in a play.
But, those are minor things in such a beautifully written story. I loved Celia and Marco and was enraptured when their paths crossed and then aligned together.
To me, this is an almost darn near perfect book from a first time author! Go figure! I rarely give a 5 Star rating, but this one deserves all 5 big fat stars!
It's pure escapism, fantasy and wonder, with a charming love story thrown in!
I loved it!
This galley was provided to me by the publisher, at my request, and in no way affected my review.
Cover images: Doubleday
I loved it so much I embedded this widget, you can read an except here:
The Night Circus Excerpt