BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publication: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Anchor
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Pages: 401

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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 was so excited when my book club decided to read The Night Circus for the month of May.  I had purchased it a while ago at a local used book store.  I had heard so many things about it.  It has been floating around as a book I had to read for a while just never actually started it.  

The circus appears without warning. That has got to be one of the best opening lines that I have ever read.  It is also one of the closing lines.  Which begs me to question whether the whole entire book was actually a story being told by Widget, one of the main characters.  At the beginning of the book, we meet the main character, Celia, as she meets her father after her mother committed suicide.  She is forced to go live with him.  When I read that I thought oh no this is rather dark and doesn’t bode well for the rest of the novel.  We find that Celia can do magic, albeit a little uncontrolled.  She can make things break with her anger.  Her father teaches her to control and restrain her power.  At first, I thought that it was a nice father-daughter activity that they can do with each other but you soon learn that he has a much much dark plan for her.  He is grooming his daughter for battle with another magician.  I was heartbroken through the whole book as her father judges and tries to manipulate her to do what he wants, be it how she lives her life or how she battles the other magician.

Celia eventually grows into an elegant woman who can do magic and do so flawlessly.  I loved the author descriptions of her various gowns that Celia wears because she bewitches them.  Sometimes they take on the color of whomever she is standing by and sometimes they change in time to her magic act. They are never the same.  As the story progresses Celia falls in love with Marco. Unbeknownst to her, Marco is the magician she is battling.  As they battle, they create new and exciting tents at the circus that Celia helps run.  It only opens after the sun goes down and closes when the sun comes up.  The worlds that they create are breathtaking.  The author wrote them in a way that you can see the fluffy clouds of the maze and you can smell the jars in the memory tent.   As I reached the end I was left breathless with how Celia and Marco got their happily ever after even though the magic “war” was supposed to be to the death.  I would totally love to see her write a sequel since she left it on a slight cliff hanger.


Pick up your copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add the book to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check out more info about author Erin Morgenstern HERE.

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