Review – The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

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Title The Night Circus

Author Erin Morganstern

Description from Amazon

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 Rêves, 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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

Initial Thoughts

I have seen this book on several other bookstagram accounts all over Instagram as well as having heard of it from its international acclaim.  There’s something about the idea of the circus that I don’t really like, so I avoided reading this book.  However, something clicked in my head on Thursday night, and I decided that I just had to finally read this one.

Cover Art

I have the paperback of this book and the cover art is really cool.  There is a cutout in the center there the circus tent appears.  The full circus is actually pictured inside the cover but we get a peek on the front.  The colors are also on theme with the book itself.

Favorite Quote

“You prefer not to see the gears of the clock, as to better tell the time.”

Herr Thiessen was a minor character (at best, as he’s not really in most of the story).  But, I thoroughly enjoyed his view of the world.  I loved that he wanted to keep the mystery in ordinary objects in order to better appreciate them.  He could see magic in anything and Erin Morganstern demonstrates that idea very elegantly through Herr Thiessen’s dialogue.

Final Thoughts

I loved this story.  I can’t believe I put off reading it for so long.  It was so good.  I loved the setting (both place and time period).  I loved the characters.  I loved the story telling.  The use of a non-linear timeline made for a complicated but fascinating challenge.  The characters were complex and unpredictable.  Side note, I can usually predict the ending of 90+% of the books I read but The Night Circus kept me guessing the entire time.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber – both of these stories have a magical, carnival/circus based competition.  Additionally, both have spellbinding competitors to lovers romance (yes, I consider that a distinct variation on enemies to lovers).
  • A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn – Veronica and Stoker spend a good portion of this novel with the travelling circus that Stoker grew up with so both stories here feature a travelling circus.  Also, both stories have a super slow-burning romance and take place in the 1800s centered around London but with several mentions of travel and other places.
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber – this is another competition based story where the main character competes against her love interest.  There is a magical/unexplainable environment in both stories so if you liked The Night Circus, give To Best the Boys a try.


The Night Circus on Goodreads

Buy The Night Circus on Amazon

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**Look out for Erin Morganstern’s new story in November 2019, The Starless Sea.**


6 thoughts on “Review – The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

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