Written by: Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus is a magical book about a mysterious circus that appears without warning suddenly during the night and disappears in much the same way. While it’s around it is only open at night and everything is black and white and it features some of the most interesting acts from all over the world. But beneath the surface two real magicians have been trained since childhood for a battle to take place there where they themselves don’t even know the rules their mentors have committed them to.
I’m honestly not sure how I stumbled upon The Night Circus. I was looking for an audiobook to listen to and just sort of found my way to it. I am so glad I did. When I tell you that this book is about magic it’s more than that, the book itself is magic. It leaks out of the binding and drips from the prose.
Erin Morgenstern has created a fantastic world that grabs you instantly and keeps hold of you till the very end. Throughout the book which tells the story of the establishing of the circus and it’s rise, along with the stories of many of the important people involved with it, there are chapters that simply walk you through the experience of the circus yourself like you are there. It really allows you to experience this magical place for yourself, but also gives you reasons for many characters actions.
And there are many characters. This book is filled with a pretty big number of important figures. But somehow Morgenstern makes them easy to keep track of and follow along with making each one unique and three-dimensional. One of the fascinating things is being constantly introduced to all these people and then watching as they fall into the puzzle that is the circus and the competition taking place within it.
Speaking of the competition, that part itself is another stroke of genius. The two competitors have been trained since childhood, both differently and never meeting. The reader is kept in the dark as much as they are as to what exactly is going on and it creates a sense of mystery that you’ll be aching to find out how it resolves.
I’m not sure why The Night Circus isn’t one of the biggest books in the world right now. It’s got a sort of Hunger Games competition type quality to it (while being completely different) and for every single adult who ever wanted to live in the world of Harry Potter, this is the late 1800′s-early 1900′s more adult version of that that you will fall into and never want to leave.
The writing is superb and helps bring you into everything even more, giving the world and the book a real tone and life. I actually listened to the audiobook of this as I mentioned earlier and if you’re a fan of audiobooks then I suggest checking this out in that format as it’s read by Jim Dale who you might recognize as the narrator of the American Harry Potter audiobooks or the narrator of the excellent and equally as magical television show Pushing Daisies. He brings a sense of wonder to the audio version, but the written version is just as wonderful.
Basically read this right now.