Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Amazon Description: "The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart."

My Review: The Night Circus is, without a doubt, the most beautiful book I have ever read in my life. The writing is unbelievably amazing. It rivals the cadence of old-fashioned classics from the past, in a way. The writing is polished and poised, and it describes everything in a beautiful way, refined and elegant---and so detailed that you feel like you're really AT the circus. And speaking of the circus...the way it was described was my favorite part. The plot was amazing and the characters were highly interesting---but it was actually the circus, Le Cirque de Reves, itself that intrigued me the most. I have a strange obsession with circuses---the more beautiful and strange, the better. And this is exactly the kind of circus that was in the book. Not a traditional carnival-like circus, but a strange, ethereal, haunting one. The way it was described was so amazing that I wanted to jump into the book and walk around the circus myself. In the book, fans of the circus are called reveurs and as I read the book, I found myself becoming a reveur as well. The circus was enchanting and strange and displays, acts, and tents it described seemed so magical that it almost made me want to cry---THAT'S how much I wished the circus was real. (See? Told you. I have a thing about circuses!) The plot itself was intricate and sometimes confusing and twisted, like a long-winding yarn, but it was very interesting in the end. The characters themselves were very refined and closed-off---not characters you could see through easily, but characters you slowly found out more about, bit by bit, as the book trailed on. I loved how there were several different views of narration going on through the book---it put a fresh spin on the book---and I loved the different and elemental way Morgenstern took magic to be. Not the usual wand-waving and spell-casting, but deeper and less logical and neat and clean. Overall, this was one amazing, beautiful, and brilliant book that I plan to buy right away and re-read over and over again. 

Cover: This cover is very enchanting and pretty, but there is an alternate, sweeter cover that I like a lot more (and I'm going to try and buy it with that cover instead). It describes the mood of the circus perfectly. Here is the link to it.

Overall Grade: A+

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