“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.”
The Night Circus was lovely and entrancing: like a Victorian-era Cirque du Soleil decided to do a circus where spectators wander from tent to tent--except that some of the performers are truly magical.
The plot is deceptively simple: two ageless magicians are engaged in a competition that spans decades and several matchups. In their current matchup, Each magician is training an apprentice, who are Marco and Celia, in their different methods of magic, so that the young pair can later compete at the Night Circus in a mysterious magical duel, where the rules are unclear and the stakes are unknown. The two young players have their own agenda, but they are locked into this duel by powers beyond their control.
The tale is highly atmospheric, filled with mystical, enchanting imagery: Celia's ballgown changes colour to match the clothing of whomever she is closest to; a room is filled with bottles that contain scents that transport your senses to places like a Christmas evening or an ocean beach; a carousel contains magical animals that seem half-alive.
I've never been one for heavily descriptive writing and beautiful prose but The Night Circus has proved how wrong I was to assume that. I adored each and every word and thought the balance between dialogue and prose was magical. Erin Morgenstern's writing style somehow managed to make the heavy description feel light. I wanted to dive into the pages and run away with the Circus.
Read along with us.
For this month we have picked The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. We shall review it in July.