Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus

The Night Circus tells the story of two young magicians raised and trained for the soul purpose of winning a magical duel – a duel of which they don’t know the rules. A story that is almost as bewitching as the circus itself.

I always love to be taken on a journey with the protagonist(s) and discover everything with them. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus does precisely that. The young magicians, Celia and Marco, don’t know what this duel precisely entails nor how to win it. You figure out the rules of this game along side them and share the same shocking realisation near the end of the book.

Another great thing about this novel is that it ties all the different storylines together – even if it doesn’t seem so in the beginning. This is quite impressive since there are many characters in this novel. Even the ones that don’t seem to be important when you start the read The Night Circus, turn out to be of great significance.

But the thing that really drew me in was Morgenstern’s writing. Her description of the Night Circus (or rather: Le Cirque des Rêves) grabbed me from the beginning. There are some parts that I really, really loved which actually addresses the reader in the second person, describing how ‘you’ are walking in between the different tents once in a while visiting one, such as the Hall of Mirrors and the Hanging Man. And since this book isn’t plot driven, don’t expect a fast-moving, action-packed story, but it’s about the setting, there were many descriptive passages to satisfy my never ending desire for more.

This description of a living statue shows the wonderful world Morgenstern has created:

“This women’s skin is shimmering and pale, her long black hair is tied with dozens of silver ribbons that fall over her shoulders. Her gown is white, covered in what to Bailey looks like looping black embroidery, but as he walks closer he sees that the black marks are actually words written across the fabric. When he is near enough to read parts of the gown, he realizes that they are love letters, inscribed in handwritten text. Words of desire and longing wrapping around her waist, flowing down the train of her gown as it spills over the platform.

The statue herself is still, but her hand is held out and only then does Bailey notice the young woman with a red scarf standing in front of her, offering the love letter-clad statue a single crimson rose.”

I’m really in the mood for some popcorn with caramel sauce right now (thanks Widget).


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