The first thing I noticed about this book by Erin Morgenstern, is that it smelled fantastic. All books smell great, the ink and paper combination – it’s one of my very favourite things. But this book is heavy on the ink owing to some nearly all black divider pages and the paper! It’s so creamy feeling. Immediately I was in love and I hadn’t even read a word.
This is another one that, like Room, I held off on because it felt like the hype was too big. Also? It’s about a circus and I do not like the circus. It’s never felt magical to me, just sad and vaguely creepy. I tried to overcome my circus dislike with Water for Elephants, but I think that book mostly solidified it for me.
But then The Night Circus came out in paperback and the cover was so charming and it’s been on my To Read list for forever so I bought it.
I’m so glad I did.
The Night Circus is spell binding, charming, breathtakingly magnificent. I was completely taken in with the first line:
The circus arrives without warning.
It is the tale of a magical circus that travels the world and delights visitors of all ages. It sparks a movement of followers called reveurs, that distinguish themselves by wearing all black with a dash of something red. The circus itself is all red and white and black, even the white flames in the cauldron in the middle of everything that seems to keep the whole thing working. There are red-headed twins, Widget and Poppet, born on Opening Night. They are the only ones that seem to age at all. There are kittens that do somersaults and a tree of wishes, an Ice Garden, and a giant clock that marks time with a juggler cuckoo and changes from black to white and back again.
Then there is Bailey, through who’s eyes we see the circus from the outside. He falls in love with it the way we’re supposed to.
And there are Marco and Celia who, unknown to all, are actually using the circus as the venue of their magical duel. Celia’s father and Marco’s teacher bound them to each other years ago in a kind of magical bet, to see who’s teaching methods are superior. Marco’s teacher, Alexander, prefers books and study. Celia’s father, Hector, prefers a more practical approach which sees him do things like slice open each of her fingers until she can heal them all at once.
Pretty twisted right?
Aside from one or two gruesome details, this book is complete magic. I can’t say enough about it. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out. While I was reading it, I thought of an old friend that I thought would love it. Thanks to the magic of facebook, I messaged her and told her she had to read it. I think she really will.
A magical duel, somersaulting kittens, red headed twins and sinister teachers – what’s not to love?