Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
I’ve been postponing writing the review for this book, for one simple reason: I cannot find anything to write about it that I didn’t like. I normally spend some time before writing reviews contemplating all the aspects of the book I’ve just finished, and try to find the merits on the ones I didn’t like, and the bad aspects of the ones I loved. But for this one, I just couldn’t! So do get ready – this is going to be a rave-iew (I am sorry, I could not resist).
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
The Night Circus tells the story of Celia and Marco, both trained by their mentors since childhood to a competition they know little about. This story spams over many years, following their lives and their studies of enchantments, while they are unaware of the actual rules of the game. What they do know is this: they are bound by magic to play the game, and there can only be one winner.
The story is so original and the writing is so beautiful that reading The Night Circus feels outright magical. You get sucked right into the world, which is so wonderfully crafted you can almost see it and touch it. I am in love with this book beyond words. The representation of magic left me wondering throughout the whole book if I was reading fantasy or magic realism, and it took me finishing the book and pondering about it to conclude it’s more fantasy.
Once I realized it was a love story, I had my reservations. It simply caught me off guard, as I had imagined it would be mostly about trickery and fighting with magic. Surely there is some of that, but the romance is on the foreground. It’s one of the best romances I’ve read: there is passion, magic, destiny, sacrifice. The characters are very well constructed, and I had such a hard time putting this book down.
The circus itself was a wonder, and I loved the descriptions of the tents, and each glimpse I could get of that place was breathtaking. The imagery provided by Morgenstern was so lush and vivid I can’t help but wish they made a movie out of this book. I need to read it again to best capture the details I certainly missed the first time.
I can imagine people not liking this book for the same reasons I processed my love. It relies a lot on imagery, which means there aren’t magic battles with blood and heavy trickery, it is essentially a love story. So if you expect action, you will be disappointed.
It’s a beautiful, captivating story about enchantments, love and loneliness.
Verdict: I highly recommend this book, it’s a beautifully written love story filled with magic, mystery and loneliness. The world building is very well done as well as the crafting of characters. However, if you are looking for lots of action, this book may not be for you. It relies heavily on imagery, which means there is a lot of descriptions. If it’s not something you like, you won’t enjoy it at all. There is some emotional & physical abuse on this book, especially its first third, although it wasn’t too much, it could still be a trigger for some people.