Friday, February 17, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

While on my honeymoon, there was a lot of time to enjoy the hot sun and listen to the waves gently crashing to the shore.  Knowing I had 10 days and nights of relaxation, I loaded my Kindle with plenty of reading material.  I must say, this is the best part of having a Kindle: rather than squeezing 6 (or 10, just in case) books in my suitcase, I was able to just download 12 books (can you tell I was concerned about running out?) and slide my kindle into my carry-on bag.  I tried to balance the selection between some real "chick lit" and some with a bit of a literary impact.  One of the many downloads was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which satisfied a bit of the fanciful and literary sides of things. 
The Night Circus from Amazon.com
The Night Circus opens with a bet between two skilled illusionists that (at some point) will pit their students, Celia and Marco, against each other to determine the better illusionist.  While this sounds straight forward, that could not be less of the case.  In fact, the bet has bound the students to each to other as well as to the bet itself.  What neither students know is that the battle continues until one of them dies.  After many years of preparation, the competition starts when a circus, crafted by the two masters, that travels the world and is only open at night, setting the perfect stage for the competition.

The characters in this book, including the circus itself, seemed to come alive off of the pages.  Morgenstern described everything with such detail and colorful language that it was as though I was actually in attendance, walking through the various circus tents and seeing the illusions with the crowd.  As the circus continues, both of the competitors "create" new tents with fantastical illusions in an effort to win the bet.  However, as the circus continues and the illusions get more intricate, Celia and Marco fall for each other in spite of the game and their mentors instructions otherwise.  The bet, bound to the competitors, is one that must be played out - there is no way to end it without the death of one side.  Together, Celia and Marco must work together to save their lives and the lives of those in the circus.

This was a truly magical read that made me want to go to the circus immediately, even though I knew it could not come close to how special the circus in the book is.  This was such a rich read and I could not get enough.  I would highly recommend The Night Circus!

4 comments:

  1. I really didn't like this book. I tried so hard to labor through it, and I was absolutely let down.

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