The Night Circus

Author: Erin MorgensternPublisher: Harvill Secker

“The Circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it… it is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

The Night Circus tells the tale of two rival magicians with two different techniques for passing the knowledge of magic to their students. Unable to agree which is the better technique, Prospero the Enchanter and Mr. A.H  begin a competition that puts in motion the extraordinary events that lead to the creation of ‘Le Cirque Des Rêves’. Two students are chosen and through the use of magic rings their fates are irrevocably bound to each other. Neither student is told much about the nature of the competition only that they must win. Unknown to the two contestants the only way to win is to survive. The author weaves a complex tale of love, fate and destiny that entrances long after the pages have stopped turning.

The Night Circus is the debut novel from Erin Morgenstern and what a debut she has made. Morgenstern draws you into this beautifully crafted grayscale world that enchants you from the first page. Interspersed throughout the book are mini chapters designed to bring ‘Le Cirque Des Rêves’ to life. Morgenstern’s beautifully crafted descriptions paint such vivid pictures of the circus that readers feel totally immersed in this unique world. Her characters are equally well crafted and I found I genuinely cared about the fate of Marco and Celia and indeed the fate of ‘Le Cirque Des Rêves’. As I read I found myself longing for Morgenstern’s circus to be real and soon classed myself as one of the red scarf wearing rêveurs who are entranced by all the night circus has to offer and who follow the circus as it travels.

When I first picked up this book my first response to the cover’s bold proclamations that “This is a marvellous book” was one of disbelief. I rarely believe quotes from authors or critics so deftly placed on the cover by the publisher so as to persuade you to pick up the book. All too often they don’t live up to that initial hype and expectation. I can definitively state that this is not the case with Erin Morgenstern’s magical creation.

This is indeed a marvellous book. I’m not sure I have ever met a book where upon finishing it I have so desperately wanted to pick it up again and read it once more. The Night Circus is one of those books that has you turning the pages as fast as you can but desperately trying to slow your reading speed down so as to prolong the fantastical journey the author has taken you on.

I simply cannot recommend this book enough. I genuinely look forward to the next offering from this stunning debut author. In the words of Audrey Niffenegger: ‘This is a marvellous book’.

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