Book Review – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

TITLE:  The Night Circus

AUTHOR:  Erin Morgenstern

GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING:  4.00 out of 5 stars; 261,346 ratings


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.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


I have found that one of the most satisfying feelings in the world is coming upon a book which helps you rediscover what it is that you love about reading and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was able to do that for me.  What I love most about this novel is that while it is a love story, it isn’t strictly a love story.  There are so many other elements and factors in play, other people who are ultimately affected by this unseen battle being waged between Celia and Marco.  Morgenstern’s style of writing in this novel is just as magical as the characters and the world she created.  I admit that I had difficulty with the style at first, I kept wanting to experience everything from either Celia or Marco’s point of view because they were the focal point of this battle, this story.  Yet, when I reached the end and finally understood how this story had developed in the way it had and why…it blew my mind and it just made sense.  The ending gave this story a perfect sense of completion.

I want to take a moment to discuss the love between Celia and Marco.  The first thing I noticed about their love was, I think, one of the most important factors of a realistic relationship which can be looked over and that is time.  It took time for the love between Celia and Marco to grow.  Now, I know that one could argue that their love was a complete whirlwind, but I truly don’t believe that was the case.  The two of them had been bound in this battle since their childhood and openly competed against each other within the circus venue for many years, continually responding to the moves of the other.  Each item created a silent message to the other, almost as if each was a letter awaiting a response.  Eventually, the exchange became filled with more depth, more meaning, more emotion and a love was able to grow from that.  The idea of love growing over time between two people through simple exchanges, or in this case complex magical ones, isn’t a difficult or unrealistic concept.  In fact, I would wager that a love developed in this way over time would be far more realistic and stronger, than some of the seemingly more whirlwind love stories found in other novels.  That isn’t to discount the love stories of other novels, on the contrary sometimes a good whirlwind romance is just what a person craves, but there are times when the steady and more realistic type of love story is going to win out.

The other portion of Celia and Marco’s relationship that I adored was their desire to take control of their own destinies.  Rather than continuing to be pieces in a larger battle between their teachers which had been going on for many years, they took control of their own fate and ultimately found a way to be together.  I was genuinely hoping for them to find a way that they could both survive this competition and be together.  This is the type of reaction I hope to gain from reading, I hope to genuinely feel for the characters involved and Erin Morgenstern did an excellent job of eliciting emotions in her readers towards her characters.

TL;DR REVIEW: 5 out of 5 stars.  As I stated previously in this review, this book is a book which was able to reaffirm what it is that I love about reading.  I love the experience of reading about characters I truly grow to care about and reading a story which does justice to reality by not glossing over the complexity of real life even with the presence of magic.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is in need of a good book to curl up with and read.

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