Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Vintage
DOP: 2012 (originally published in 2010)
Pages: 490
Rating: 4/5
ISBN: 978-0-099-57029-5
Twitter: @erinmorgenstern

When Celia, Prospero the Enchanter’s daughter, shows up after her mum’s suicide, he quickly finds out that Celia is anything but ordinary. He dares the man in the grey suit for a game, already convinced of his victory. Both Celia and Marco are raised, trained for the day when the game begins and they have to compete against each other.

Erin Morgenstern created a mysterious and magical story that elevates you to the world of The Night Circus. Divided into five parts, each having different chapters written from different point of views, the enchantment starts straight from the beginning as it is written in second person singular, immediately dragging you in the story. That, combined with the beautiful cover and the way the parts are illustrated, finalises the magical feeling.

If I had to choose a favourite character, it would be Poppet and Widget. From the moment they were introduced, the story gained a new level. Their enthusiasm was catching and their talent interesting. Their input was playful and serious at the same time but they were open to accept someone from outside the circus, breaking through the boundary that is the night circus.

However, although I could appreciate the writing, I had a hard time finishing the book.

One of the issues I had, was the fact the story was slow paced. I know it never meant to be rushed, giving us the time to enjoy the details and mysteriousness of the night circus but at the same time, it created a wall for me to climb every time I had to pick up the book again. A lot of things happened but I had the idea of everything standing still and not moving forward.

Some actions and motives weren’t thoroughly explained either and although this adds to the mystery of the story, it had me confused at some moments too. What was the purpose of the game? What did Prospero and Alexander gain while holding it?

I loved the dynamic of the circus and how the individual tents were conjured. The descriptions of the magic were different, inventive and inspirational in The Night Circus. Morgenstern succeeded in creating such a special story that will be remembered and take you on a magical adventure the moment you turn that first page.

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