Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Publication Date: September 13th, 2011

Publisher: Vintage Books, Random House

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

Series Status: Stand alone

Pages: 490

Format and Source: Paperback, Owned

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

What I anticipated when reading The Night Circus was what I took from reading the very limited description from the back of the book: a book that sporadically changed characters to the point where I can’t remember who’s who. While it did change between characters, I became engrossed with their lives, their personalities, and I fell in love with each and every one of them. They were portrayed so well that this is one of the first times I actually liked the constant change of point of view in a book.

This changing also aided the plot very well, with changes in years and dates also helping to add more mystery to this already mysterious book. You are left guessing throughout the entire book until you reach the last page. In fact, because I was completely unable to guess what was going to happen next, it made it near impossible to put the book down at all.

There is something in this book I thought I would hate, but it was also portrayed so well that I couldn’t have the book without it, and that is the romance factor. Yes, there is definitely a fair amount of romance in this book. Yes, it was certainly cliché. No, I would not ever change it. There was something about this book, whether it be the setting within the circus or the era itself, but it made the romance quite, well, quite magical really. (I never thought I would ever say that).

With the clichés, and the magic, and the simple, yet brilliant concept, this book could have been a typical Young Adult book that was popular for a year before succumbing to living in the shadows of ‘great’ new YA books. But the writing style saved it from this fate, changing it entirely into an amazing novel that is memorable in every aspect.

This book is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The writing style was something so magnificently intense that it captivated me from the beginning. The idea for the plot itself was also spectacular, but it would have fallen short if the writing wasn’t as it is.

I incredibly highly recommend this.

11 thoughts on “Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. Great review!
    The descriptions of the circus in this book are some of the best writing I’ve ever seen. I haven’t wanted to step inside a book so much in a long time! When I think about it now I feel like I could still tell you how the place smells 🙂
    Morgenstern is incredibly talented and I look forward to seeing what she publishes next.


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