Sharon Bolton's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Sep 03, 12

Read from August 15 to September 01, 2012

“The circus arrives without warning”

Every so often comes along a book that is weird but rather wonderful. Elizabeth’s Kostova’s The Historian being a case in point, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, another. And now we have Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus.

Celia and Marco, an unwanted bastard and an abandoned foundling, are indentured as children, branded like slaves and bound to compete in a magical contest that they neither chose, nor fully understand. Inevitably, they fall in love.

The battleground, in which Celia and Marco must present ever-greater feats of magic, is a mysterious circus that travels the world by day, opening its doors as the sun sinks. With illusionists, contortionists, jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, it is known as Le Cirque des Reves, The Circus of Dreams. Many fall under its spell, just as many readers fall for the magic of this book.

But enchanting though it is, a dark thread runs through The Night Circus and as we read on, we become conscious of a sense of unease. The circus is unraveling, held together only by the will of the two slaves. Jumping around in time so that we never really know where we are – past, present, future – we gaze in awe upon a kaleidoscope of images and ideas presented by players who never age and, with growing dread, we wonder how it all will end.

Beautifully written, richly imaginative, dark and beautiful, each short chapter feels unique and precious. The Night Circus is more than a book, it is a treasure chest.
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Tina Loved The Night Circus too. Really a gem of a book.


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