The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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

So begins a fascinating journey into the magical world of Le Cirque des Rêves, a black and white circus of dreams that is only open from dusk until dawn, and while it has none of the typical circus attractions, what it does have is much more magical and enchanting.  However, all is not as it appears.  This circus is actually the stage for the fierce competition between two young magicians, pitted against each other from a young age by their mentors. And while they each know they are engaged in a competition and the circus is their venue, they do not know the rules or the way the contest must end.  They are not even known to each other until they discover it for themselves, and by then they have fallen in love, making the stakes much higher.

This is Erin Morgenstern’s first novel. She is also a visual artist and that is very evident by her vivid descriptions which make the circus seem so real that you can smell the caramel wafting through the air.

I loved being drawn into this dreamlike world and enjoyed the split narration the author employed which is in a nonlinear progression.  Morgenstern deftly takes the reader back and forth among the characters, occasionally inserting a page that is specifically for us, the readers.  Besides the two main characters, there are many others who add breadth and depth to the story.  It has been compared to both the Twilight series and the Harry Potter series, but I think it is distinctly its own creation and one that I would love to lose myself in for an evening or two of revelry.

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