Le Cirque de Rêves (or the Circus of Dreams) arrives without warning in the middle of the night and disappears just as suddenly. Just like the circus, this book is wonderfully mysterious, following the journey of two young magicians who have been bound to each other in a challenge of sorts. A challenge with rules and a purpose they don’t yet understand. The book follows their story as they struggle to make sense of their situation, and ultimately they must decide whether the path that has been set out for them is the one they want to follow.
Morgenstern weaves a complex narrative, withholding just the right amount of information and feeding us clues as she simultaneously reveals information to her characters. She draws together multiple subplots and viewpoints into a cohesive whole with subtlety and skill. It has been a while since I have read a book that consumed me in quite the way The Night Circus did; I found myself unable to put it down, drawn in by the combination of magic, mystery, and romance (the good kind).
Her characters are, for the most part, compelling. Again, this feeling comes from the way Morgenstern withholds information – like stealing all the corner pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle, only to drop them into place in the final chapters – forcing us to focus on the details, and as such I found myself behind the characters, invested in their happiness, emotionally bound to them. She has successfully created a story that pulled me in, and carried me through to the final pages, both slower and faster than I would have liked.
The Night Circus reminded me why I love reading; I would definitely recommend it.
Note: if you have a love of beautiful books then I would definitely suggest finding a hardcover copy, because this book is stunning. It has black-edged pages, decent paper, a red ribbon bookmark… need I say more?