Monday, August 8, 2011

The Night Circus

Two magicians, one who calls himself Prospero and the other has no name that anyone remembers, are locked in a competition of sorts. These men aren't the competitors. Instead, they choose children to groom and teach for years until they are ready to battle. As they grow up, the children, Celia and Marco, are only given bits and pieces of the situation to work with and are largely kept in the dark. When the aging illusionists find their respective protegés ready, the duel begins, using Le Cirque des Rêves as a battleground. This enchanting traveling circus features a monochromatic color palette and the most unique performances from around the world. It arrives unannounced and only opens its doors at night. The circus touches the lives of people in each city it travels to. Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love there despite being pitted against each other. However, the competition must end at any cost. Can Celia and Marco end their mentors' duel and still be together or will it destroy them?

I was entranced by The Night Circus from the very first page. I literally read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. The story was infused with magic that was used in a way I had never seen before. In addition to being incredibly imaginative, the language used was lyrical and fluid without being overwrought. This is especially impressive because it would be very easy to over describe the marvels within the circus. Morgenstern's writing was so elegant and she balanced the darkness and light in her novel very well. The setting in both time and place made this book special. The novel took place in a span of time from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. This industrialized time was an interesting choice for something so magical. Magic seemed to not have a place there outside of the circus, but it provided a contrast between the two worlds. The circus was just exquisite. The performers, the presentation, the illusions, and all the different attractions were my favorite part of the novel. I really couldn't get enough of it. I am definitely a rêveur at heart.

I absolutely loved the structure of the novel. Each chapter was only a few pages long, but it manipulated the tempo of the novel and made me feel as if it were passing quickly. The perspective jumps around between main characters whose numbers grow and shrink as they enter or exit the story. Each view reveals something about the circus or the competition that may no even make sense until reading others' stories much later. The written in the third person which I liked because it made the writing feel more uniform and like I was being plunged into a world. Changing voices every chapter would have been tiresome in this format. The narration also The other thing I really liked about the format was the second person voice that was would last for only a couple of pages interspersed between the other characters' chapters that made me feel as if I were seeing this circus for the first time. It was a small touch, but made me forget the rest of the world while I read it more easily than usual.

The Night Circus was an all around great read with mystery, suspense, romance, and magic. I was almost disappointed that I only took a day to read it because I wanted to stay immersed in that world a bit longer. The book was very visual in nature and I'm excited to hear that it's going to be made into a film. I would recommend this to any fans of Geek Love, Water for Elephants, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell or films like The Prestige.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

**The Night Circus will be released on 9/13. Check it out here.**

1 comment:

M.A.D. said...

Whoa - love the plot on this! And that cover is wonderfully twisted lol