Today I will be reviewing The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a book that I have always lusted after reading but didn’t have the opportunity to until my mother-in-law was cleaning out a cabinet and saw it and said “Oh, I think you’d like this!” I was so excited that I finally had the chance to read it! I vaguely knew that it was about two rival magicians, and there was a circus, but not much else.
Before you dive in, I must let you know: the narrative is non-linear and concerns several different characters. For two chapters you may read about Marco, another chapter will throw you fifteen years ahead and will concern Bailey, then you will travel back and read about Celia for another three, then a clockmaker for another one, so you must pay attention to the chapter headings! Don’t be like me and have to skip back a few chapters just to reorient yourself. Though, don’t let this deter you! All of the characters are easily recognizable.
So, this book. This book is beautifully crafted! It is like a giant chess game. Each chapter is a piece moving, and you begin to see how the previous moves effect the final outcome. Though this book concerns Celia and Marco and the magic competition they are in, the real main character is the circus itself.
And the circus!!! I envy the author when she wrote the tents for the circus! So imaginative! From cloud mazes to storytelling rooms to the labyrinth and mirror room and even the treats they sell for the patrons to eat! Chocolate liquorice mice, with almond ears and liquorice tails! Cinnamon rolls that have no name! Popcorn with caramel drizzled over it! My mouth was watering when reading the scenes where the circus treats are mentioned, but I have a horrible sweet tooth!
I really enjoyed the book! I know some found the romance to be very good, but it didn’t quite take me at all. I think it was because I was more concerned with the outcome of the competition. The narrative was compelling. The main characters were interesting, and the side-players even more so. My favorite characters quickly became Poppy and Widget, who host their own tent where kittens do tricks.
I read that the author began writing this during National Novel Writing Month. It is so amazing to see another work that has come out of the abundance of creativity. I participated in NaNoWriMo and finally “won” in 2015, so I can attest that it is a challenging task! I am continually impressed with the amount of work that comes out of that event. She also said that it was influenced by Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (a book that I absolutely love and will finish someday!) and The Prestige (which I also love), so if you enjoyed either of those, you will most likely enjoy this book.
If you haven’t yet read The Night Circus, please check it out! Also, if you go to The Night Circus website, there is a game to play, though I haven’t tried it myself.
Check out the author’s website here.
Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think of it?