Book Review : The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

9361589Title : The Night Circus

Author : Erin Morgenstern

Publisher : Doubleday

Release date : September 13th, 2011

Rating : 6/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads) :

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, 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.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lvies of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern’s spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.

Review :

For those of you who are wondering what to read next, The Night Circus has become one of my favorite books.

The summary is misleading, though : no, it’s not an action-packed novel, it’s not a steamy, passionate love story. This novel revolves around a circus, its influence on everyone involved, its development. I don’t say this to turn you off, but it felt much more like a description than an actual story. Yes, there are characters, each very interesting in their own way, mysterious and curious and amazing, and they have their own plot lines and secrets and revelations to make (it’s all wonderful, really). But they’re all HERE, to contribute to the circus, you know what I mean? They handle blueprints and paperwork, and influence our protagonists to improve the circus itself. I say this again, it ALL REVOLVES AROUND THE CIRCUS.

But boy, was it imaginative. Erin Morgenstern has created the circus of my dreams, filled with magic and amazement and awe-inspiring descriptions. You WISH you were there, walking around the tents and satisfying your curiosity at every turn. Your mind will be blown away by all the dreams this book inspires you.

The characters are lovable enough, the “duel” referred to in the summary will leave you confused most of the time (until you completely understand it), but really, her writing is worth the trip. The atmosphere is incredible. You won’t find intricate plot lines and character development. After all, it remains Le Cirque des Rêves, the Circus of Dreams, and dreams don’t need logic and reason.

If you love to dream and to imagine and to wonder, then this book is FOR YOU. Enjoy!

Picture sources : 1, 2

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