The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Publisher/date: Anchor Books; 1st edition (July 3, 2012) *holy crow Batman, I thought this just came out a year or two ago!*
Genre: Fantasy Fiction - Magic
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”
Le Cirque des Rêves is a black and white circus that is only open at night. It is not a normal circus. Instead of one large tent, there are many small tents holding different attractions. The circus appears and disappears as if it were never there, and the circus goers are left with the feeling that they are not sure which is the dream - inside the circus, or outside of it.
But it's more than just a circus. It's a playing field. A venue for two magicians to compete. A competition for which they've been training almost their whole lives. They don't know the rules. They don't know how they will be judged. And they don't know what the prize will be for the winner, or the consequences for the loser.
If you haven't already, DO NOT read the published book summary, because it has spoilers in it! Mine does not. I was one of the last people to jump on The Night Circus train, because honestly, I hate clowns.
But I was sent The Starless Sea to review, and thought it was the sequel to The Night Circus, and I despise trying to read a book series out of order! So finally I let my Bookstagram friend Jen convince me to read it, after assuring me that there were no clowns. Now I haven't read The Starless Sea yet, but I've done some research and it doesn't appear that it is a sequel. Does that mean I'm sorry I read it? NOPE!
At first, the nonlinear storyline was confusing. But after a few chapters I was sucked in, and the flow of the book became more natural.
I hate calling a book masterful. Every reviewer loves to call things masterful, so as a rule I don't use that word. So what word shall I use to describe this book? Magical? Yes. Ingenious? Most definitely. Artful, clever. Yes and yes. But the most accurate word that comes to mind is poetic. This book reminded me of a Shakespearean tragedy. There is no hero here, and no villain, but the struggle of the main characters is poignant, and I was able to clearly picture the scenes, the people, and mostly the circus.
This book is perfect for a movie, if they don't screw it up. (There is a movie being produced currently.) The imagery and costume design would be epic! I'm looking forward to it tremendously.
All in all, this was one of the best books I've read this year, and I can't wait to read The Starless Sea.
5/5, I cannot believe I didn't read this sooner!