Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Format: Paperback
Length: 490 pages
Genre: Fantasy
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Wow. Erin Morgenstern is a genius. 9 stars.

Ok, so that's not my whole review. As usual I have opinions! I finished the book, put it down and was kind of stumped as to what to do or read next. It really was one of those fully engrossing reads where you drop back into reality at the end with a rather unforgiving bump. This is a seriously amazing book. I read the final 150 pages whilst at a soft play area surrounded by many small screaming hyperactive and hysterical children, and I barely noticed them. That's how amazing it is.

The Night Circus is exactly that; a travelling circus that opens at sunset and closes at dawn, comprising of scores of tents, each filled with an act, exhibit or creation, each of which are so amazing that they must be touched by magic. But Le Cirque Des Reves is also a venue for a competition; a demonstration of magical strength and skill between magician's apprentices, Marco and Celia. They have been magically bound to this competition since childhood, never fully understanding the rules of the game they are playing. 

I really like how this book was written. Lots of the imagery and almost dream like quality to the writing (and use of the present tense) really fits with the image of the circus itself, and so really adds to the effect of the book. I did think that the romance part of the book needed developing some more, but I still liked Marco and Celia's relationship, especially in the scene with the umbrella.

Although the ending isn't the ending that I would have chosen as the ideal happily ever after, I was still happy with the balance/compromise/solution that meant happy ever-afters all round. Going through the book there were lots of parts that I thought were put in just for artistic effect or to bulk out the plot, such as following Bailey, a visitor to the circus, or the mentions of the Reveurs, a group of dedicated fans of the circus. But, once it all came together in the final few chapters, everything had a purpose and a place, and suddenly the solution to the problems the characters faced had been put forward much earlier on in the book. I really like books that do that, where everything that is put in is relevant, but also written all prettily too.
What people seem to expect from this
book (but really shouldn't)

Plus, did I mention that its Victorian, and there is magic. Don't think it needs much more than that! I know that some reviewers on goodreads have felt that there is a lack of plot, but I can think of lots of books with much less going on than this one, so I don't see a problem with that. I suppose if you read a description of it that describes their competition as a fierce duel (read that somewhere on the internets) then you are bound to be disappointed. Don't expect it to be like in Disney's The Sword in the Stone. Its definitely more of a slow burner, but it builds up all the way through for a big ending where everything makes sense!! 9 stars!!


  1. Glad you loved this one! I've seen some good reviews and it has me excited to read it. i agree with you, I like it when everything has a purpose and isn't just put in for the sake of it. Plus, Victorian times? Count me in! Fab review, Rachel! :)

    1. Yeah, it really bugs me when there are loose ends or bits that seem irrelevant,unless its a series of books, and I just have to try to be patient so that it'll be explained in a later book. Thanks for reading, I'm glad you like my reviews!


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