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The Night Circus

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  480,525 Ratings  ·  54,525 Reviews
"Opens at Nightfall; Closes at Dawn." The Le Cirque des Rêves is a circus unlike any other, just as this magical debut novel is equally unique. At the center of The Night Circus spectacle are two specially gifted young magicians, Celia and Marco, pitted against each other in professional competition, drawn towards one another in love. Erin Morgenstern's literary fantasy ha ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 607 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Center Point (first published September 13th 2011)
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Popular Answered Questions

Victor Madsen The short answer is 'Yes. Yes, I would.'
The longer answer is this: The Night Circus is a wonderful book. It has a very ethereal feel to it the whole…more
The short answer is 'Yes. Yes, I would.'
The longer answer is this: The Night Circus is a wonderful book. It has a very ethereal feel to it the whole way through which makes for beautiful visuals and a deliberate sense that while you're in that world, you're on a different plane of existence.
There's nothing graphic, brutal, or disturbing, but there are parts that are inescapably sinister - and this is by design.
The structure is not linear, but that's not really an issue if you're paying attention.
The book may even have a YA feel to you if that's what you read more often than not, but there are more layers to The Night Circus than you would initially think, so keep that in mind.(less)
Margaret Christison Hi Karen- I think it would be a shame to read it at eight. I think she would love it more later on. I agree that Diana Wynne Jones is the way to go…moreHi Karen- I think it would be a shame to read it at eight. I think she would love it more later on. I agree that Diana Wynne Jones is the way to go .'Hotter than Potter!' There is a feast in store if you haven't discovered her yet.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Contains some minor spoilers.

I disliked this book, which means I ought to rate it one star, but it is not as awful as my one star shelf. One star books have to really repulse me to get that rating. The only redeeming thing about The Night Circus is that I didn't feel the one star compulsion to start a bonfire so I could properly dispose of it, hence two stars, but in this case it does not mean I enjoyed the book at all.

From the Goodreads summary: "But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is u
Maggie Stiefvater
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
Five Things About THE NIGHT CIRCUS.

Ordinarily when I do my recommendations, I do a “five reasons to read _____,” but I think opinions will be so divided on THE NIGHT CIRCUS that I think “things about” will be more useful.

1. This novel is not what it says it is. Well, back page copy is always a weird thing anyway, as it’s not written by the author. And a weirder thing because it is essentially a glamour shot of the novel. It is not a lie. But it isn’t really what the novel looks like when it’s wa
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-the-hype, 2011
The Night Circus will be a 5-star book for a certain reader. This reader likes a lot of descriptions, doesn't mind a very slow story and has a soft spot for circuses. I am not that reader. I prefer imagery to complement a plot rather than substitute it.

The plot summary of The Night Circus promised many enticing things, but delivered, in my opinion, only on one - lush imagery of a mysterious circus that was a collaborative creation of two rivaling magicians. The book was good 80% description of v
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The prose sparkles, and the story itself is a feat of magical acrobatics. It's a hard book to summarize, but basically two ancient magicians set their two best pupils against one another in a magical contest. Its venue? A mysterious circus that only appears at night. The only problem: the contestants don't really know the rules, or how victory is determined. And when the contestants start falling in love which each other, things get complicated.

Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aw hell, I'm going to rate this 4.5 stars. I can't resist this book was so freaking good. I don't normally change my ratings, so don't expect this TOO often.

My feelings are so conflicted about this book. I don't know whether to immortalize it for all eternity in a frame on my wall, or throw it into the fire.

So, how the hell am I supposed to rate this book? A million stars, one star, 837 stars, what? In the end I did some crazy, overly complicated math that really makes so sense in my head, an
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
shrug. yeah, i had a good time reading this book. i got really swept away in its atmosphere, and it didn't disappoint me because i didn't go into it thinking it was going to be a masterwork of literature, explaining the human condition and changing the way i saw myself and my relationships in the future. it presented itself as a fantasy novel about a magical victorian circus and that's exactly what it gave me.

i think it is most successful in terms of its mood and its atmosphere. this is not a n
Richard Derus
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs magic in their world
Rating: 6* of five

Sometimes, some books just don't lend themselves to an analytical, opinionated review. I'm reluctant to do that kind of review here and now because the experience of reading The Night Circus was like smelling a magnolia blossom...perfect, sweet, rich, satisfying a need I didn't know I had until it was met...but to examine it, to handle it, even gently, risks that somehow the magical smooth gorgeously textured vessel of chastely erotic pleasure that this book is will let it begi
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, a-wizard-did-it
Wedding cakes are typically the prettiest cakes, but they are almost never the tastiest cakes. I am not a cake expert (can I be one though? Is that a thing I can be?), but it seems to me that the tools necessary to make a cake exceptionally pretty -- a vat of fondant, to start -- also contribute to the cake not tasting all that good (unless you somehow really like fondant, which is incorrect).

Don't misunderstand me, I have no issue with cake. The right decorations, the right frosting (buttercrea
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a young girl, Celia Bowen is delivered to the father she never knew, a world famous magician whose secret is that his show is genuine magic - not illusions. He teaches Celia to manipulate the world in the same way so that she can compete in a high-stakes game against Marco, an orphan similarly trained by her father's nemesis. The arena for this game is an elaborate, surreal circus. Neither Celia nor Marco knows the extent of the game, nor their opponent, until they have fallen in love with ea ...more
Bookdragon Sean
Some books touch your soul in unexpected ways.

I’ve never been to a circus nor have I ever had a wish to go to one. But after reading this I want to go to one. Admittedly, this is plain folly because a circus this beautiful and enchanting could never be reality; it’s simply too wonderful, and could only ever exist amongst the pages of a magnificently written book. Real circuses are horrible places that are full of cruelty, animal exploitation and vile entertainment. What I mean to say is that I
Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)

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❝When the final bulb pops alight, and the smoke and sparks dissipate, it is finally legible, this elaborate incandescent sign. Leaning to your left to gain a better view, you can see that it reads:

Le Cirque des Rêves

Some in the crowd smile knowingly, while other frown and look questioningly at their neighbors. A child near you tugs on her mother's sleeve, begging to know what it says.

'The Circus of Dreams,' comes the reply.❞

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

The Night Circus wa
Sometimes I want chocolate. And sometimes I want the chocolate experience. I'm as guilty as the next person of the occasional vending machine pick-up for when I need those quick fixes. But then there's the slow anticipation. Take last week, for instance. It had been a few days since the last time. As I waited in line for my latte, my eyes happened to linger on a cute little cupcake, dark velvety goodness. Short, stacked, with a swirl of fluffy milk chocolate frosting. I resisted temptation, but ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Buddy reading this book with my favorite Princess Celeste

2.5/5 Stars

There will be rants on this review, if you're easily offended I recommend you to stay away from continuing.

I really wish I could rate this higher but if you heard about this book already, you probably know there have been a lot of mixed reviews on it. It’s either you really love it or you really hate it. Sadly, I’m one of those closer to hating it.

Before you read this book, I must state two things.

Katrina Passick Lumsden
If I had to describe this book in one word, that word would probably be...wondrous. This story made me want to smile, frown, laugh, and curl up into a ball and cry. Try to imagine someone taking Carnivale, Somewhere in Time, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Prestige and mashing them all together into a poetic, stunning piece of fiction with a beautifully melancholic, bittersweet ending. It made me crave magical autumn nights spent in a circus that defies the conventional laws of the univ ...more
Mohammed Arabey
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هذا الريفيو كتبه أحد الحـالـمين، أرجوك لا تقرأه إلا إذا كنت منّـا .. حــالــم

(سبع أسباب لتقرأ رواية لتدخل عالم السيرك الليلي)

1- لأنه الشتاء .. ولأنه الليل .. ولأنه وقت السحر والخيال .. ولأنه السيرك الليلي .. ولأنه

حتي إن لم تكن من هواة السيرك -مثلي- ستشدك وبقوة احداث الرواية الغريبة للنهاية
الرواية تبدأ من وجهة نظرك أنت، وأنت تري سورا يحيط حلقة سيرك غريبة، بل عدة حلقات من السيرك ، خيماته مخططة باﻷبيض واﻷسود، بل وقطعة اﻷرض المحيطة به كلها مخططة بنفس اللونين
السيرك ظهر فجأة في وسط الحقول علي أطراف
Holy. Crap. Excuse my language but holy crap is the only way I can accurately portray what I am thinking now that I am done this book. This is, without a doubt, my favourite book I've ever read. Ever. There is nothing that compares or even comes close to how I feel about this book. If I could choose one fictional world to live in, I would sacrifice Hogwarts to go to this circus.
For the first time ever, I wrote a list of things I wanted to talk about in my review. I just don't want to forget anyt
I never expected to like this book. Just from the title I knew it wasn't for me, but so many people spoke highly of the book, so I read some reviews... And my opinion remained the same. This wasn't for me. Nothing about it appealed to me, and so I had no interest in ever reading it. But, it was chosen for my bookclub, and so I read it. Technically. And now I am going to rant about why I wish I hadn't. In detail, which means there's gonna be spoilery stuff, probably.

Here we go:

I don't like readi
maybelline ⚓

Gahhh, it’s been so long and I’m still completely mesmerized by this book !!


Night Circus is such a memorable read. Erin Morgenstern should be praised for her originality, style, and her passion. What a fricken legend.

THIS BOOK WAS PERFECT (even though my library copy was all abused and had FRICKEN CHOCOLATE STAINS on it - i still gave it 5 stars do you see my commitment to this)

- the story takes place over a long arc of time
- so you get to see the characters from when they were children
- and
Cait • A Page with a View
This whole story is just... really gorgeous. There's no other word for it. It's a bit slow-moving and the story can be rather elusive at times, but the book as a whole is so wonderful.

I loved Bailey, Poppet, & Widget and the aesthetic of the circus! The circus itself felt like the main character, which was really neat. But I couldn’t even pin down exactly what the whole competition was until about 70% because it was unclear what the rules were or what they were even competing for:
I confess,

I remember when I was a kid, my Dad took me to the Circus, a small traveling circus with a few shows and a fewer animals, a circus that was rare even then and not heard of now of days. I remember holding my Dad's hand as we walked through the huge big top tent and feeling something magical and rare falling over me.
One show that I can clearly remember even years after is of a young woman, a Aerial silk performer as she made the silk fabric dance for her with ease and grace as it wrapped itself
Kristina Horner
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, adult
I'm not sure what to say about this book except that you should read it.
Please read it.
Devour it, savor it, love it, hold it close, name your first child after it.

What a perfect, delightful, enchanting story.
I envision many future rereads.
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
The Night Circus reminds me of a wedding cake: breath-takingly beautiful and intricate, with an infinite amount of attention paid to every detail. And, while you'll do the polite thing and talk about how delicious it was, in your heart-of-hearts you know that the simple homemade cake you've got waiting for you at home is infinitely better. Because a wedding cake isn't really about taste at all; it's all about flash, panache, and aesthetics. As your fork breaks through all the magic of sculpted i ...more
i did not like this book at all.

also, i loved it.

(both of these things are equally true.)

review to come, once i get that sh*t sorted


me: *moves to college*

me: *has literally no time, doesn't open laptop for 3 days, has had a total of 35 minutes to read*

me: hmmm...i think it's time to pick up this 500-page, all-consuming fave of a book for a reread

wish me luck in my bad decision making!!! you have to, condemning my horrible choices is mean!!!!!!
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, usa
This book was amazing!
I loved it.

Bought it in a charity shop.

I am not usually a fan of books that involve magic.
Some bits were a little cheesy.

Loved the setting.

Full of great quotes.

I think I may have to re-read to go over it all again.

Loved the characters but was more interested in other ones rather than the 2 main ones Celia & Marcus.
Megs ♥
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book a word...amazing! I wish it didn't have to end.

Celia and Marco are two young magicians who were chosen to take part in a competition by her father and his trainer. They don't know each other as they grow up, but they know that they are training for this competition. They also don't know much about the competition at all, they just train on and do what they're told. As they grow up they learn more each day, and meet each other while working at the circus which is the venue for
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
See this review and more on The Moonlight Library!

Gah! What a supremely boring book.

The prose is near perfect, and the descriptions are the best I’ve ever read. But good writing and beautiful descriptions does not a good book make!

This book was boring. I was promised a deadly duel to the death between two star-crossed magic-making lovers, trained since childhood to… destroy each other, perhaps. Instead I was delivered a slow-burn of somewhat related skits interspersed with pretty good second-per
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review now posted!

I first read this book 5 years ago when it was first published, and I absolutely adored it. The writing was stunning, and up until that point in my life it was the prettiest book I had ever read. I remember thinking that the Circus was breathtaking, and that I wanted to run away from college and live there forever. (As long as I could take my husband with me, of course.) The memory of Morgenstern’s writing has stayed with me, and I’ve recommended it to at least a dozen peo
“The circus arrives without warning.” (This may be the most talked about opening line of any book to be published this year.)

The book this opening statement comes from is called The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and one that amazed me in so many ways. All my emotions were engaged as I read. I was enthralled to the point I wanted to curse Erin because I was utterly obsessed with this fantasy world she has created. Words are poetry where the writer is the artist responsible in creating beauty i
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I just can't stay with this. It's tedious and overwritten, pretentious and full of endless descriptions. Way over-hyped. I think the plot idea had promise, but its execution needs a buzz cut. Or maybe even a vasectomy. With a weed-whacker.
Andreea Pop
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

This book is bewitching. Enrapturing. Magical. It wraps you into its beautiful prose, unraveling a dream-like narrative that tugs on your heartstrings. You're left wide eyed and yearning for more, even though the wonder of the circus is perennial.

The slow-burning built of The Night Circus is what initially threw me off; I expected full-on battles of wizardry and majestic illusion.
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Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist, who describes all her work as "fairy tales in one way or another." She grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with two very fluffy cats.
More about Erin Morgenstern...

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“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” 2318 likes
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” 1772 likes
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