The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a celebration of magic. From the splendor to the ornamental to the oddities, magic is showcased in various ways throughout the novel. The characters and plot both take second place to the illusions and the mystical. Every layer that unfolds is as bewitching and alluring as the next.
The only thing that could be better than a book so filled with elegantly rendered magic is one where that magic is also shrouded in mystery. From the very beginning, every single illusion, no matter how innocent, has a whisper of tension and menace behind it. Even though every piece of magic seemed to portend a future danger, it was still impossible not to get caught up into the enchantment even while not knowing where they were ultimately trying to lead. In fact, forget about not knowing what was going to happen – there were a lot of times I didn’t know what was happening as I was reading!
As I mentioned before, everything takes a second stage to the magic. The plot was meandering and detailed…definitely not a book for those of you who seek constant action and a cohesive plot structure. This is a book to be savored and explored. It also isn’t a book where the characters feel like family or like people you can relate to on some deeper level. It is one where the characters feel like what they are: novelties. Circus performers. Magicians. Illusionists. The very nature of the book is not one that allows the reader to see past the mysterious. So, this might not be a book for everyone. But, if none of that scares you away – you have got to read this!
I really don’t say any of that to try to scare you off the book – I loved everything about it! Normally I’d be less than impressed with a book where I don’t feel like I get to know the characters better, but this book is the exception. I adored all the characters, mysterious natures and all. The characters all fit in with the intensity of the novel, and I don’t think it could have been written any other way. The feelings and emotions (especially in regards to Marco and Celia) were all there for me – vivid and real.
Speaking of vivid – this book will make all your senses come alive. I could picture all of it so easily: an ice garden, a room made up of clouds, a labyrinth. I wanted to taste all the food – from the mulled cider to the cinnamon twists covered in icing. The writing was gorgeous, it made anything seem possible.
So, I definitely recommend picking up this novel if you’re a fan of fantasy. Next time I find myself at a circus…I’ll make sure to be wearing black clothes with a dash of red somewhere. You know…to mark myself as one of the ones in the know.