Sep 26, 2012

Book Review: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Release Date: The edition I have was published in June 2012
Publisher: Anchor Books
Pages: 508 (mass market paperback)
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 RĂªves, 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.
One of the best things about this book is its cover. Even the covers of the other editions are magnificent, that's why I want to own all of them. In time, in time.  

The blurb was quite misleading, actually. I expected a fierce duel, as in hurling fire balls or conjuring wild animals to attack each other, but that wasn't what I got. This might get spoiler-y if I say more, so I'll leave it at that.

Also, the pace was slower than I would've liked. It took so long to set up the said competition. A hundred pages before the last, I was like "where is the freaking climax?!". Yep.

That said, the ending was beautiful. Tragic, yes, but beautiful. And realistic - though this story is far from reality. Think Mockingjay-kind of ending, but a bit happier. And Morgenstern's writing was like the dreamy atmosphere of Le Cirque des Reves turned to words. 

Oh my Lord. The main characters were really good. 

Celia was a confident, prideful - but far from arrogant - young woman. Her father, Hector Bowen, was the opposite, so I'm glad she knew what and what not to learn from him.

And Marco. Oh, Marco. Swoon-worthy, charming, though quite naive. But I loved him. I still do.

I didn't like the insta-love. One minute they're strangers, the next they're flirting? But to say that I hated it would be lying. I was too busy trying to slow down my heart rate to be irked.

The other characters were well-developed, too. They even provided a number of surprises. 

MY FAVORITE PARTS were when Celia finally discovered that Marco's her opponent, and their first kiss. 

(photo and summary from

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