Book Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Summary: The circus comes at night, appearing without warning and captivating the imaginations of all who attend. It is magical, a feast for the senses and a truly unique display of what the mind can conceive and believe – a tattooed contortionist who fits herself into a glass box, an ice garden, a transforming clock … Unbeknown to the circus patrons, some of these displays are feats of engineering while others are more than mere illusion. Le Cirque des Rêves is forum to an apparently unending battle of magic and intrigue between two young magicians, bound to each other and trained for the very purpose of this battle. Set in a magical Victorian London, The Night Circus follows the story of all who are touched by the Le Cirque des Rêves and the love story between to the magicians at its core.
Favourite Scene: I have two – the first is a description of the clock Herr Thiessen makes for the circus (and all descriptions of his clocks), and the second is when Celia first steps into the ice garden – I envy that it does not exist beyond the pages of the novel.
Favourite Character: Friedrick Herr Thiessen.
Review: I was a bit hesitant when I picked up this book and felt I had to buy it because I decided I needed something different to the pile of YA books already in my arms. I was not disappointed – I rapidly became addicted to the vivid imagery and the charming descriptions of Le Cirque des Rêves and its plethora of tents and performers. A spell was cast over me from the moment I read the first page. It takes place over multiple time frames, a patchwork of then and now and all the parts in between. At first I found this confusing but then I was so drawn into the novel that the patchwork-time simply was.
Every character was unique and served a purpose in the novel, something I greatly appreciated. Reading about a character was never about filling in space or creating an unnecessary back story because every character had a role and those who did not were kept rightfully confined to the margins. I loved the interspersed second-person chapters that meant I, as someone attending the circus, was also a significant character in the novel. I couldn’t help but wish – page after page – that a place like Le Cirque des Rêves could be real.
This book shoots straight up into my Top Ten books of all time. Yes, you heard me.