Review: The Night Circus

TITLE: The Night Circus
AUTHOR: Erin Morgenstern
PUBLICATION: 2011 by Doubleday
FORMAT: Hardcover


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, 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. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.


I cannot express coherent thoughts about my absolute love for this book. It’s instantly added to my favorites list and I have to own this book. I had a feeling from the opening chapter that this was going to be something special and I am so pleased to say that it withstood those great expectations until the final page without losing the flavor that hooked me from the beginning. I feel that I am woefully inept at expressing my feelings for this book that can even come close to doing it adequate justice. Please pardon me if I resort to fangirlish ramblings at any point in this review.

The first thing about this novel that captured my attention was the beautiful and rich prose. I’m a sucker for an elegant and descriptive prose style. May I reveal something? There were so many times where I was wanting to just sit there and reread passages or sentences without making advancement in the story because I just loved the sound of them in my mental voice, or as an oral presentation because I had to read them aloud to my significant other.

The story has an almost timeless setting because except for a few words depicting the date and perhaps some of the fashions, it could really be any time almost and I think that’s part of its charms. Most of the narrative takes place in the last 1800’s, but it’s easy to identify with the places and people that Morgenstern takes you to meet in this magical novel. It traverses through the past, the present, and the future with fluid ease as each time flows into the next and back again. Random chapters will make the reader a character in the narrative as you explore the circus.

I loved the characters and really couldn’t say which one was my favorite because they all have their charms. To be honest I never read the plot summary before reading this book so I didn’t really know what to expect and the romantic aspect kind of came as a surprise. A nice surprise though. Celia and Marco are a couple that I can cheer on. Providing reasons why may tread dangerously close to spoilers and I find that when it comes to books there’s such a thing as too much information.

This book alone could persuade me enough to make Erin Morgenstern an auto-buy author, which I don’t really have one at the moment. I could just go on and on in my gushing for this book! The hype and praise surrounding this novel are well deserved in my opinion. My only regret is that I did not read it sooner.



3 thoughts on “Review: The Night Circus

  1. You’ve convinced me too. I have picked this book up and almost purchased it a couple of times. The next time I run across it, it will go home with me. Great review! It really does sound like a good read. Cheers! Chris

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