The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – A Review

 There has been exactly one load of laundry started between when I finished this book and the writing of this review.  One load.  I didn’t want my thoughts to get all jumbled before I had a chance to write them down.

I’m also having a bit of trouble seeing clearly (literally) today (Sunday) and my Packers are losing, just for your information.

Title:  The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Genre:  Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis:  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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

About the Author:  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. (taken from her author page on Goodreads here)  If you want to know more than that little blip, visit her website here.

First Impression: As interested in the idea of this novel as I was, when I began to read it, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it.
As always I feel honesty prevails, so I will be honest:  I am having a hard time coming up with words to describe my thoughts on this novel.  That hasn’t happened before.

How do you describe a book whose main character is not a person, yet is a living, breathing, changing entity – the circus?  If you think I’m kidding, you are going to be sorely disappointed.  Sure, there are human characters, but they are all entwined in this all-encompassing, ever-changing circus.
It’s true what the synopsis states: there is a competition between magicians – but with much love and respect, this isn’t Harry Potter, although I can see some comparison now that I’ve said that.  The competition is dark and confusing; each player aware, yet strangely unsuspecting of an end game.  Nothing is as it seems.

That last bit may sound cliché, but this is a book about magic and there are many layers, misdirects, and illusions.  It also adds to the mystery that some of the terms used are French.  I read this on my tablet and was able to search for the words through the Internet while remaining in the book, but for those who don’t speak French fluently, the meanings may not be readily apparent.  There are also many clever plays on words in the titles of the chapters that require a larger vocabulary than even I have, so be prepared.

Then there is the underlying love story.  It’s tragic, beautiful, passionate, and utterly epic.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Final Thoughts: I asked myself, at the end, which one tent I would visit inside the Le Cirque des Rêves, and I have an answer:  The Pool of Tears.

 

My Suggestion:  You need to immerse yourself in this story; it is an experience like no other, which is exactly the point.  Usually I suggest the library, but if I could enter the Wishing Tree, I would wish to own this enthralling piece of writing.  I can still envision the chocolate mice and smell the popcorn.

Star Rating:

 

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review and all opinions contained herein are my own and in no way reflect the ideas or opinions of people or sites I may reference.  This is intended for entertainment purposes only

 

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