Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Published: 13 September 2011 by Double Day
Source: Library
Reviewed: Sapphireddragon
SapphiredDragon Rating: *****

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.

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I wasn't sure quite what I was expecting when I started this book and when I saw it started with second person present tense, I got a little worried as that would have to be my least favourite tense to read books in as it is very rarely done well.  However after the short prologue, it changed to third person present tense so I breathed a sigh of relief and read on.

I am so glad that I did.  I found this novel as magical, mysterious and captivating as the circus the story is about.  With a 9 month old daughter and New Years celebrations, I was unable to read this book in one sitting (it took me maybe 3-4 days?) but every time i put it down, I felt myself almost counting down till I could get back to it.

As I said, it wasn't what I expected.  The story kind of creeps up on you and casts a spell or illusion much like the main characters, Marco and Celia might create.  While still grumbling about the second person present tense, I was unaware of the illusion being formed around me and entrancing me until I was at the end and felt like I had been released from a dream.

Erin Morgenstern's writing was gorgeous and clever and the way she put the story together was genius. Even the second person present tense had its place.  Weaved in bits and pieces throughout the book, it helped tie it all together and form a link with the reader.

I am so glad I didn't put it down when I read those first few pages as I would have missed out on an incredibly magical experience.

I give this book 5 stars

Sapphired Dragon xx


  1. This book is one I've been wanting to read for ages. I'm really motivated to get to it now!

  2. This book is one I've been wanting to read for ages. I'm really motivated to get to it now!