“At its heart, it is a story for anyone who wants to believe in magic and wonder and love…”
Library readers share their favorite books – the ones they spend 10 minutes enthusing over, until you agree to read them too.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Reviewed by Katie
Can a two year old book really constitute an “old” flame? Well, if we’re okay with defining an old flame as a book that one returns to again and again (and, let’s face it, again), then The Night Circus fits the bill. For the past three Septembers, as the nights gradually begin to lengthen, I find myself once again seeking out the magical world of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. It is an atmospheric book, tailor-made for fall nights.
Indeed, this is the story of Le Cirque des Reves, a circus, open only at night, that arrives in towns without warning. Its black and white tents appearing and disappearing seemingly on a whim. One might say like magic, if one were the sort to believe in such things.
And yet despite the air of enchantment and mystery, a visitor would never guess is that the circus is merely a backdrop for an ongoing duel between magicians, a battle of abilities and style between two strangers who have never met, playing out their roles in an old fight. It is only once the path of these magician’s–Celia and Marco–cross that the stakes are revealed and the true nature of the circus emerges. Their deep connection sets into motion a series of events that cast into the spotlight the darker side of the night circus and the dreams it holds.
The Night Circus weaves its magic with beautiful language and glorious world building as it spans years and continents, casting its spell everywhere it goes (including on the reader). There is intrigue, there are secrets, and there are elements of darkness and danger. And yet at its heart it is a story for anyone who wants to believe in magic and wonder and love. It also just so happens to go perfectly with long nights, a hot cup of tea, and a cozy sweater.
One final note: If you’ve already fallen in love with The Night Circus, you may want to revisit it the novel in audiobook format. The audiobook was narrated by Jim Dale–he of Harry Potter audiobook fame–and is the perfect way to recapture the magic a second time.
Katie is a regular blogger for our teen blog and when she’s not reviewing for us she’s a librarian for the National Library of Medicine.