Author: Erin Morgenstern
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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.
Sigh… I did not want this book to end! The Night Circus was/is getting a lot of hype, and I admit, I was one of those who were dying to read it. When UPS delivered the autographed book, I felt like I won the lottery – yes, I’m a dork. But as I got ready to start reading it, I felt a little apprehensive because I was so afraid that The Night Circus would not be as good as I had anticipated. Oh my gosh, it was so much better! As I read it, I was trying to devour every word – the book itself is absolutely gorgeous, but the story within was even more beautiful. I tried to make the book last as long as I could, because I was enjoying every minute of it.
The story is told from various perspectives and alternating timelines. I loves books that are written like that. Though the story follows different characters, it all revolves around Celia, Marco, and the circus. Celia and Marco are pitted against each other in a competition by their guardians. They are young when the bet is made, but neither of them know who their competitor will be, when the competition will start, nor where it will be held. As we follow them through this enchanting tale, the relationship that forms between Celia and Marco is so heartbreaking, yet beautiful.
I adored all the characters, even the more… shall I say, unlikeable ones like Alexander and Hector. I loved the twins and their bright red hair, Tsukiko and her mysteriousness, Bailey and his love for the circus, and many more. The competition is between Celia and Marco, but it involves so many other people, and Morgenstern did a wonderful job with all of them. The fact that the story takes place in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s makes it even better for me – I love that time period. The descriptions of the dresses were beautiful. I even got excited when the World’s Columbian Exposition was mentioned.
I loved how throughout the book it was as if you, the reader, were there experiencing the circus for yourself. I often found myself smiling while reading The Night Circus, and my heart skipping a beat at parts. For me, it’s one of those books that I don’t even want to hear anyone say one bad thing about because I loved it so much.
“I wished for her” – Marco