Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction, Magic
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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 Reves,” 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.
The night circus, Le Cirque des Reves, is beautiful. I’d like to spend days just lying down and imagining it in my head. Better yet, I’d like it if the circus was real and I could spend nights wandering around, discovering all the wonders it has to offer. I’d be one of the reveurs, always following wherever the circus goes.
But as enchanting as the circus is, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. At the very start, a challenge between two magicians is issued. I waited for this moment, when they would reveal themselves to each other and the competition would commence. The circus tried to distract me, to enchant me with its own magic, but the competition was always in the back of my mind, and I couldn’t help but think, “When is it starting? When will they compete?”
I belatedly realized that it was already underway, I hadn’t even realized it started. It felt so silly, because I had waited and waited only to be told it was already happening. I felt slightly cheated because, although I admire and like the subtlety of the magic weaved through the circus and the story itself, it couldn’t make the disappointment go away. I felt somewhat cheated because the summary promised a “fierce” competition–it didn’t feel fierce at all. How the competition was resolved seemed a bit anti-climatic too because I was expecting too much.
Nevertheless, the circus itself was enough for me to enjoy the book, even though I felt all my waiting for something to happen was wasted. 😄