Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus
Author:   Erin Morgenstern
Published: September, 2011 by Doubleday 
Pages: 387
Ratings: 4/5                                                                                                                            

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.

The Night Circus is a beautiful and complex book. It is told from different perspectives across different time eras. All the individual stories are linked to one another and they slowly make up the formation of the circus and the many mysteries it hold.

This circus is no ordinary circus. It only opens during the night and many people are at awe with the circus whenever they approach it. There is a flock of devoted followers who follow the circus wherever it goes. They are called the reveurs. There are a lot of tents and each tent holds a different act that is even more unique to the customers.

The Night Circus mainly focuses on one particular story about a girl and a boy; Celia and Marco. Set across the late 1800s, the two young people are set in a duel competition between two magicians taught for an extensive amount of time by their teachers, Celia's father and Marco's somewhat adopted father. They have been preparing them for this battle. But it isn’t a battle per se; it’s more  a skill of endurance; who can keep on going for longer. However, the rules and reason of this competition is never actually explained, until the end. Nevertheless, both characters fall in love with each other, using their magic to produce gifts to each to other.

But the Night Circus is not only about love and passion. It is also about a community, as well as passion and love and how the people inside the circus live together.

Aside from Celia’s and Marco’s story, there are other stories that delve into the different characters and how they ultimately shape Celia’s and Marco’s future and because of this I found it hard to choose which particular character stood out for me.  But my all time favourite is of course the two twins, Poppet and Widget. They both are very clever and provide an insightful element to the magical and creative atmosphere within the book. They provide that element of innocence that comes with magic and magicians. Furthermore, their shockingly, vibrant red hair is what also makes them memorable. It was nice to see how they grew within the circus and how their part became an essential part to the story.

The plot of this book is quit complex, that is was hard for me to condense it for this review, since there was a lot of things I could mention. However, needless to say, it captured my attention from the beginning, especially because of its element of mystery. I mean this book had a LOT of mystery and secrecy coming out of every page!

The story takes place in a span of 30 years, with each character’s story in between the chapters. It must have taken a lot of planning and thinking! The author seems to be pulling back each layer to draw the readers in the lives of each characters and how they help shape Celia’s and Marco’s story.

The writing is absolutely beautifully written. There is a lot of description in this book and it helps the readers imagine how the actual circus looks like.  You can understand the awe that the customers have when they first see the circus, due to the description. There’s more to this then winning giant teddy bears or eating rock hard candy. I especially love the black and white theme. So unusual and different and adds an element of class. It also adds to the dark and somewhat dangerous territory that the circus consists of. The Night Circus has a lot more surprises and stunning elements to it. I mean of course is would, it’s held up and running purely on the use of magic! What I also particularly liked was the use of first person narration at each interval in the book. There would be one page dedicated to you, imagining that you are an actual customer going inside the circus. The author does this to include you into the story and to create the impression that you are also shaping each of the character’s lives.

What I didn’t particular enjoy was the constant skipping through times, since it did get confusing at times.

Nevertheless, this book is a must read and earns a place of your reading shelve.
Note: The book trailer is utterly AWESOME! I love it, soo magical and mysterious. It definitely fits the book’s theme!

Notable quotes/passages:

"Marco pulls her to him in an emerald embrace, so close that no one distinction remains between where his suite ends and her gown begins. To Celia there is suddenly no one else in the room as he holds her in his arms. But before she can vocalize her surprise, his lips close over hers and she is lost in wordless bliss. 
Marco kissed her as though they are the only two people in the world. The air swirls in a tempest around them, blowing open the glass doors to the garden with a tangle of billowing curtains. Every eye in the ballroom turns in their direction. And then he released her and walks away. By the time Marco leaves the room, almost everyone has forgotten the incident entirely. It is replaced by a momentary confusion that is blamed on the head or the excessive amounts of champagne. Herr Thiessen cannot recall why Celia has suddenly stopped dancing, or when her gown has shifted to its current deep green. “Is something wrong?” he asks, when he realizes that she is trembling.” 

Book Trailer: 

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