Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Release date: September 15, 2011
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Pages: 387 pages
See it on GoodReads

GoodReads Description: In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des RΓͺves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rΓͺveurs - the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter's daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer's apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love...

A fabulous, fin-de-siΓ¨cle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real."

I absolutely loved this book! I gave this book 5 stars on GoodReads because "It was amazing!"  Amazing is exactly the word I would use.  Halfway through it I had already added it to my favorites shelf. This book picked me up right out of my chair and dropped me into a magical world. Is magical the right word? Enchanting? A manipulation of the mind?

I would finish reading a description of the circus or one of the many small detailed elements that made up the beauty of the circus and I would just have to stop and savor it for a minute before I could move on. I alternated between devouring this book and trying to slow down so it would last. I don't even know how I will move on from this book to be honest - I may just go ahead and read it again (Update - I did). I know I will re-read it eventually if not immediately, so that I can return to the circus, as our friend Mr. Thiessen would say.

However, I would say that the setting - the circus - is the focus of this story - more than the characters themselves.  The deadly contest that Marco and Celia is also largely unclear throughout the book, though I believe this is intentional.

That being said, I'll say it again: I loved this book.  I loved the circus. I loved the mystery. I loved the romance. The time period. The traveling. The feelings it all invoked... Everything was perfect and wonderful. I was there.  I went to the circus, frequented it every night it was in town, and watched the story unfold.

Thank you Erin Morgenstern for writing this book. It felt like a dream.  And I will forever be a reveur.

PS - Tim Burton absolutely should be the one to make this movie.

I 100% recommend this book to anyone and everyone.  But I would recommend it mostly to fans of fantasy or magical realism.

Favorite Quotes:

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” 

“'I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held. Trying to control what cannot be controlled. I am tired of denying myself what I want for fear of breaking things I cannot fix. They will break no matter what we do.'”