fantasy, Fiction, love story

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus


I remember the first and last time my parents brought me to a circus. I think I was about 5 or 6 years old. I initially didn’t like or enjoy the experience just because it was raining a lot before the circus opened so naturally the venue was soaked and muddy. However, upon entering the largest tent within the vicinity wherein the main attractions or acrobats will perform, I was immediately taken. It was one of my fondest memories when I was a child.

It is upon reading this book, that it took me back to that memory 20 years ago, a memory of magic and endless possibilities.

Synopsis: The Night Circus is a beautifully crafted story by Erin Morgenstern. It is about two people who were raised to become powerful magicians so that they can compete against each other in a test of skill, power and endurance.The Night Circus comes into the equation when their mentors decide that it is to be the venue where they will be competing. The competition between this two characters triggers a magical event that forever ties their destiny to the magical world of the Circus and the people in it. Things get complicated when they begin to realize that everything is not as it seems, and that falling in love with each other is just as dangerous as the game that they are force to play.

What I think about it: Fun Fact: I don’t read much of romance novels. However, when I heard of this book from several booktubers citing that it features magic+ circus+ romance= Hell-Yeah- I’m- reading-that. I actually bought this book last year but only got to reading it this February, just because it’s the love month and why not?

I absolutely adored the Night Circus for all the aspects of it. Sure it has it’s flaws, some consistency in the magic system in the book is sometimes confusing. But if you look at it in general, the magic system isn’t really the highlight of the story. The highlight is the interaction of each characters and the word-building of the Night Circus. The way that the author builds the existence of the Night Circus is surreal and effervescent. Like tasting a cake cloud < I’m not sure that exist though, lol> or hearing the first waves of the sea reaching the shore under an ever blue sky. As you are reading, it’s as if you are also involved in this world but in a dream-like fashion and that adds so much more to the reading experience. I guess for me, the suspension of belief becomes apparent every time I encounter a new part of the circus or a new attraction featured in it.

The characters are written with depth and are driven with sensible and if not sometimes misguided motivations. They are flawed but organically human because the way their emotions are portrayed in different situations. Celia Bowen, one of the main characters, is a strong female character. She is not fickle minded, she is powerful but emotional and kind at the same time. Marco Alisdair somehow reminds me of young Tom Riddle minus the psychopathic tendencies. <LOL>  He is inquisitive, logical and intelligent and sometimes apathetic because for years he only cared about the game his mentor trained him for. But then he meets Celia and it’s as if he becomes a proper human being when they are around each other. I very much loved how they made each other better magicians over the years without realizing the growing feelings they have for each other. In a sense, even if they did have limited interactions, the magical illusions and tents they created are basically there own love letters to each other.

I do agree with the consensus that the first act of the book goes slow and takes too much time  getting into. But the second and third acts becomes increasingly intricate because the book is written in 3 different timelines. The third act is in fact the melding of the three timelines, so I think that was a clever way of writing the story. The slow world building, I think was quite necessary because we needed to get use to with the characters and the world they live in.

In general, The Night Circus is perfect read for those who just wants be swept away in a world of magic and dreams. In fact as I was reading the book, it reminded me so much of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, wherein everything is not as it seems.

Did you finally pick-up and read The Night Circus? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts and have a magical day! 🙂





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