Morgenstern must have dipped her manuscript into a river of magic and it came out soaked in mystery and wonder.
Expected rating: ★★★★★
Actual rating: ★★★★★
Read if… living in a dream is your thing + you appreciate whimsical writing and fantasy and circuses (animal-harm-free) + you’re not looking for an overly strong plot that makes sense + you’re okay with putting your life aside until you’ve finished reading in its entirety (acknowledgments included).
Why I read it: I seemed to be the only one who hadn’t read it? And it’s circus-themed and smells like wonder.
Triggers: child abuse, fire, amnesia, death
Read it in: 3 days (401 pages)
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.
I cannot even coherently express my love for this book.
When I wrote this review and typed 401 pages, I couldn’t believe it. What, I read 400 pages in three days? And I didn’t even seem to see time pass? But that’s the way The Night Circus is. It’s the kind of story that makes you forget you have a life to live outside of its pages.
Morgenstern’s an illusionist who manages to divert your attention from a situation just long enough to connect the dots in the backstage and the BAM! surprising and admiration-worthy spin. For real.
At first, many characters are introduced, and you can’t quite keep track of who is who and what year they’re living in and what have you, Sir, to do with this story? (All like in a proper dream.) But then, everything starts making sense and… *squeals in fangirl*
TL;DR: I’ve been bewitched.
- The mood is mystical, as if the reader were living in a dream.
- The story combines the magical, delightful, and
impossible in a breathtaking harmony.
- The plot builds itself in a vignette-like format. You’re thrown into the future and then sucked back into the past, and things make sense only when queen Morgenstern decides they do, because otherwise it would be too soon for us poor mortals to understand.
- The description of every tent was so throughout and elaborated that I would rather read about them than see them in images.
- The implication that magic is everywhere and anyone could learn it, except people don’t want to acknowledge things they can’t explain, is such a metaphor for so many things, I just *bursts*.
- The narrator isn’t human. The story is told in third-person ominous perspective, which makes it even more mystical.
- Circus, circus, circus, circus. The circus is the heart of the story more than the characters can be. More than the romance (if you think romance is a main focus, think again).
- Burlesque-y, vintage vibe.
- The synopsis isn’t faithful enough to the actual story. The novel is more than that. And different at the same time.
- There are some serious triggers (like blood and child abuse, honestly, I was shocked sometimes) and some characters would deserve to be chained in an asylum (it adds to the quirkiness of the story, but might not be everyone’s cup of tea).
- I couldn’t shake the idea that the challenge is extremely selfish and it bothered my little sensible heart that so many people were put in the middle (and their life threatened) without knowing it or being able to defend themselves.
- If one has not the brain power to get engaged at the moment, one should delay their introduction to the story.
- It’s a standalone. There was not enough of it all, even in almost 400 pages.
Morgenstern weaved a beautiful description to dress an intricate plot. She didn’t put words on paper; she put images, emotions, wishes in her readers’ hands.
The Night Circus is a door to another universe.
I’ll place this one on top of my rec pile.
Have you read The Night Circus? What do you think of its cover? Let me know!