So in the planned reading for this month (Dec TBR), I put in two rereads and I am so glad I did. It was wonderful revisiting two of my favourite reads – Persuasion by Jane Austen and The Night Circus. Because these are some of my favourite books, I hope to review them as unbiased as possible, but it’s pretty tricky. Anyway, here’s my thoughts on the book.
Spoiler Free Review
Title: The Night Circus
Authors: Erin Morgenstern
Published: Vintage, 2012
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. (synopsis from Goodreads).
I can’t quite put into words just how much I enjoy this book. But for this review, I’ll try my best.
The world: the world building in this book is exquisite. The author broaches the divide between real and magic with the gentlest touch, making the reader never quite sure what could be true. The tales of the circus are woven together over time, and there is still much about the circus world that is left unsaid. I particularly enjoyed this type of world building, and felt it fitted the book’s premise well, because it leaves you wanting more. There are no long pages full of rules for the world – it is given in snippets over time, so there is not a moment where you are bored of finding out more about this circus world. The descriptions are pure magic, each word perfectly placed, and in short: I want to visit Le Cirque des Reves.
There are a lot of different characters in this book – A LOT. Each chapter is from someone else’s perspective. Sometimes it is written in first person, second person or third person. You are never completely sure what you’ll be reading next. In some novels this could be seen as a complete jumble and a turn off. In this book, it fits the story perfectly. There were no moments where I was confused as to which characters was telling the story, and in the changes in narrative drew me further into the story, rather than separated me from it. I think, and know that this happens each time I reread, that I am so thoroughly ensconced into the novel that nothing could break me from it. I am inserted into the world and the lives of these characters.
The main characters, Celia and Marco, push this story forward as it is their own story which drives the plot of the book. From a young age they have been pitted against each other, learning their magic to eventually be put against each other in a game where only one player can survive. Though they have trained for this, neither are very sure of the rules and as they begin a tentative relationship, they begin to wonder how they can keep up the game they are playing. These characters feel like friends to me now. I root for them, I cry for them, I worry for them. Even though they are dealing with circumstances which I would never face, I still empathise with them and their struggle. They are expertly written and feel incredibly real.
Finally, the plot of this novel is exciting and there is never a dull moment in this book. Although there are many stories from a variety of characters merging into one, you are guided well from piece to piece as you begin to place the pieces of the puzzle together. It is a thrilling read that will leave you hooked from the first page to the last (or at least, it did that for me!).
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Of course it would be that high! This is a favourite of mine and it gets better every time I reread it. I would highly recommend this book if you have not already read it! Truthfully, I recommend this to most people I meet and I’ve not had one person who didn’t enjoy it. You’ll not regret it, promise.
*and since this is probably the last review of this year: have a great 2017 everyone!