Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publication: June 2012, Anchor Books
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
ISBN: 0345802624 / 9780345802620
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.
“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”
This isn’t just a book wherein the ink was inscribed on paper, nor it was plainly a story about what a circus is and how it works, but this book is magical. I know you’ll think that magic is just for children, and I couldn’t argue with what you believe in. But wait until you step into the circus, and see for yourself, that magic isn’t just for children. Magic is everywhere, and I’m glad I found it in here.
“I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.”
The book revolves about the circus and all the people connected thereto. But mostly, it focuses on the competition agreed by Celia’s father and Marco’s mentor long before the two competitors have met. The rules are vague but one is for sure, the only one left standing is the winner. They were trained to fight each other. But it’s as if the destiny is playing on them, Celia and Marco end up loving each other despite the circumstances. And it got things complicated. The rules of the game still sticks even with the igniting love of the two illusionists, and it’s a battle now of who’s willing to give up, together with the struggle to balance and maintain everyone’s most loved place- the circus.
“Old stories have a habit of being told and retold and changed. Each subsequent storyteller puts his or her mark upon it. Whatever truth the story once had is buried in bias and embellishment. The reasons do not matter as much as the story itself.”
I started reading this book without the slightest idea that this would end up in my 5-star rated list. I admit that it took me around two weeks to finally finish reading this book because, well, it was worth to be understood. The characters? Well, at the beginning I was having a hard time trying to grasp all the characters and all their roles in the story. It’s like I was starting to realize what this certain character can do, then all of a sudden a new character was introduced again. I felt like every character was now jumbled and overlapping in my mind- but in the end, I realized that each character plays an important role, and these roles are vital for the circus to function. The writing style? Well, honestly, it was not easy to get used to. It took me around less than 200 pages before finally getting the flow on how Morgenstern writes. I have to constantly search the meaning of an exotic word- but hey, I’m not complaining. (This is the main reason why I read books- because I want to use big words. And if you’re looking for big words, this one is certainly not a disappointment.) Of course, her writing style is like an addiction- once you get used to, it’s hard trying to find your way out. The flow of events? Now, this is my favorite. Yes, some parts had moved slowly but I guess it’s part of building the story first. I like how Morgenstern tried to show the different perspective of the different people connected to the circus. I like how I cannot predict on what this certain character will do or won’t do, and what the consequences of their choices would be. It’s like I receive a surprise every after I flip a page. The events are somehow patches at the beginning, but believe me, the ending would do great justice to this book.
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”
I think, aside from Celia and Marco, I unexpectedly turned out to like Isobel. Well, I guess, she’s one of the underrated character in here. But just like what I’ve said, everyone plays a role and she can continue reading her cards while I admire her bravery and wit on when to hold on or when to let go. To accept what’s yours would always be yours, with the right timing, of course. I also can say that the twins plus Bailey are an automatically favorite trio, and I’m looking forward to see how they’ll took over the circus and what new tents would be open. This story somehow emphasized to me that people are always willing to do everything and anything for their loved ones and family.
“It is difficult to see a situation for what it is when you are in the midst of it.”
Now, for the circus itself, I love how Morgenstern was able to describe it as if it’s a place where children and adults can meet halfway. It’s like a haven of the people who never want or never outgrew their cravings for magic. It’s like a place where you’ll realize that all your life maybe you’re believing in the wrong things. It’s like a place where everyone belongs, even those who don’t wear a scarlet-touch scarf.
“Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.”
I now understand what the hype is all about. And I can’t seem to give justice on how magical this book truly is. But if you haven’t read this book yet, then you’re missing something in your life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Morgenstern wrote little random things when she was in junior high and high school but never really thought of herself as a writer. The Night Circus was sold when she was 32. She’s currently working on her next novel, though it is assured that it is not a sequel of The Night Circus. Her advice for writers was inspired from Neil Gaiman, which is “keep writing and finish things.” To know more about her, head on to her website.