Book Review: The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

In a world where magic is real but sold as an illusion, two children are unwittingly bound together in a lifelong challenge. Prospero the Enchanter and the grey-clad Mr A.H have been setting unsuspecting students against each other for years, possibly even centuries, in a quest to prove whether natural talent or academic study produces the best magic. But this time the challenge affects too many people and the rules must be changed. Aesthetically the book encapsulates all the magic that the pages within promise. Sitting down with the red hardback with black-edged paper, you instantly know that you are in for a treat.

The critics have questioned the strength of the plot and the depth of the characters, but as Morgenstern says, “People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.” So, if you can go into this book with a desire to believe and a powerful imagination then you will not be disappointed. The reader must accept the magical world of the Cirque de Reves, not question it, as the logic behind it all is never explained. This is a novel for believers, not for critics.

The Night Circus is full of all the magical little treats that real life circuses seem to disappoint on. Caramel popcorn, chocolate mice and performing kittens are just the surface of it. The overpowering love between competitors Marco and Celia is somehow more believable than the ever so popular Twilight romance, despite the supernatural surroundings, and is the centre of the plot. There is a rich tapestry of interweaving characters that reflects the interweaving tents and acts within the Cirque de Reves perfectly. If only it was possible to actually visit this midnight circus with all its mysterious delights.

The magic between the pages is not something that could easily be translated to film, but I’d certainly be first in line if it ever was adapted.