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Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Spoiler-Free)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


August 9, 2017

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” ― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

A truly magical masterpiece. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern in one of the most unique and captivating novels that I have read in a long time. Not only was the setting (the circus itself) absolutely beautiful, but the magic, the characters, and overall the main plot of the story was outstanding. I did find it to be slow at times and I was confused a lot, but in the end I discovered a book I will be talking about for a long while. The synopsis is as followed:

FROM PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE:  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.

Sounds great right? That's what I thought when I read the synopsis and I was right! TNC is one of those books that you need to go in completely blind. I didn't know what to expect when I was reading it and that made it that much better. Morgenstern has this way with words that is so poetic. Every sentence was so carefully crafted and each conversation was so thought out that the reality of this magical world really shone through. 

The characters of Celia and Marco were very well written, but Poppet and Widget, the wile re-headed twins, stole the show for me. Poppet and Widget or Penelope and Winston Murray grow up with in the hectic circus and throughout the novel offer this whimsical layer that just makes it even better. I think the strongest part of this novel are the characters. Each was so intricately created that I believed these could have been real people.

Throughout the novel it is switching POV all the time along with setting and the time. I found that to be quite tiresome at times, but eventually grew to like the opposite POVs as they all started to tie together. In fact I wasn't quite aware that I liked the book until the ending. The end of this book is absolutely brilliant! If you are confused at the beginning of the novel, that will change once you realize the true story that had been somewhat hidden within the pages. 

The magic is so beautiful and even though it is pretty basic such as healing wounds or vanishing objects, the illusionists use it to create beautiful images and masterpieces. You think it is a simple concept and then they turn it around and create rooms of ice and trees of candles! I loved it so much! I have a lot of admiration for authors who take simple ideas and write the most captivating stories! 

I think if you are a fan of the novel Caraval  by Stephanie Garber, then I have a feeling you are going to like this a lot. There is bits of history within that fuels my inner history buff, but also gives you that thrill of reading a fantasy story. This novel is one that I will have to read plenty of times to really absorb it and understand the depth of it.

I give this book 4/5 stars and hope you will read it. Morgenstern has not only created a unique situation between two magicians, but through the use of the other characters and the circus itself, she has created a world even bigger than I could have imagined. Full of plot twists, mystery, friendship, magic, sorrow, and love, The Night Circus is a novel for everyone and anyone and I highly recommend it! 

Happy Reading!

- Haley



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