The Night Circus captured me from the first few sentences:

The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it, not paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

There is no way to convey this book in the small little words that I can use. The Night Circus is just too robust. The world too broad. Erin Morgenstern did more than create a world and tell me about it…she transported me there. I was thunderstruck by the pure imagination of this novel, the depth in which it was thought out and the portrayal of all the many elements. It was a true gem and I’m stoked that I was able to have the pleasure of reading it.

A battle of magic, or enchantments, they would say. Two men, a part from the world because of their power, entertain themselves by challenging each other. Their combatants: their young students. Their venue: Le Cirque de Reves. The public will see the Night Circus, the black-and-white striped tents, the acrobats, contortionists and displays that defy the laws of nature but, they believe it is just tricks, mirrors – wondrous, awe-inspiring – but tricks, not what it really is, magic. They could never guess what really lies behind the black-and-white stripes of the circus. Two magicians, on a quest to create the most magical displays, their battle going on and on…until it can not be sustained any longer and a winner is chosen.

I can only say that you have to experience this book for yourself. It is a crazy ride of the senses. Morgenstern paints a picture that only a few authors can accomplish. Her unique voice and creativity will lead you to another world, something that is rarely experienced but when it does, it stays with you for a really long time.

My only disappoint, or really confusion lay within the novel structure. It was not written within a consecutive time-line. It jumped from past to present or present to future, back and forth and back and forth. I wasn’t sure what was the present, it was rather disconcerting at times. I believe this was some sort of perfect tense that the author employed rather ingeniously to reveal the story in a timeline as it was revealed to each character – but while genius – it was sometimes hard to follow.  Let me try to explain, the two main old magicians knew all the information so they were rarely covered by POV except in the beginning of the book when the bet has been made so this begins the story. Yet, there is a character that does not come into play until the very end of the timeline but is integral to the plot so he is discussed throughout the book in fits and starts as the plot is revealed to him. Intense and confusing at times, but very interesting. It did lead to a more abstract feeling within the book, but sometimes I really didn’t know where I was within the construct of the timeline and plot. I just wasn’t used to anything like this. Call this a failure of my brain not the story.

Recommended for a more mature teen readership, but there is nothing explicit for parents to be wary of. While there are paranormal themes, this book would cross over into general fiction very easily. Think JK Rowling teaming up with Tim Burton to devise a more adult themed Harry Potter… I can not wait for this movie.

411 on the Series
  • The rights of The Night Circus has already sold in 22 countries
  • There is a confirmed film deal with SUMMIT already
  • First print run will be 175,000
Like this Like That

This series was not that similar but reminiscent of a lot of YA fantasy novels like:

  1. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  2. Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle