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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“What kind of circus is only open at night?” (Morgenstern, 3)

The Night Circus is enchanting and mysterious. Prepare yourself for a magical story of intrigue and whimsy. Erin Morgenstern will make you feel like you are a part of the circus. Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

“Trespasser Will Be Exsanguinated.” (Morgenstern, 51).

The Plot: The Night Circus begins in 1873 as Prospero the Enchanter learns that he has a daughter to be left in his care; a daughter with a special magical ability. It is this ability that brings about a mysterious meeting and the beginning of a game. As the years go by, Prospero meticulously trains his daughter Celia in the art of illusion, while the man in the grey suit, from the mysterious meeting, trains his student Marco. Both are bound together to play an unknown game with unknown rules until a winner is judged. The Night Circus becomes the arena for this game, and the moves made by Celia and Marco affect everyone involved in the circus. As the years go by, the two begin to fall in love, finding it more difficult to keep playing the game. A choice has to be made, to finish the game at all costs, or to give in to love and let the circus end.

Let me just start out by saying that The Night Circus is definitely one that you have to pay attention to the chapter titles and timelines. With that being said, I LOVED this book. I really took my time reading it and soaking it all in and I was astounded by the immense imagery and story building found in this book! Every single piece of information, and person you meet, has some sort of effect on, or part to play in, the circus. There are so many parts to the whole, and even going backward and forward in time with the chapters helps you to understand what is going on within the circus and the game that Celia and Marco are bound to. Between some of the chapters you can also find pieces of a 2nd person point of view story line that makes you FEEL like you are walking through The Night Circus! The plot, the circus detail, and the characters are amazingly written in this one!

The first character we are introduced to is Prospero, or Hector Bowen. He is ultimately the reason behind the circus and the plot because of his choice to start the game with his daughter Celia. Though he is an integral part of the story, I found him greedy and cruel and felt that he cared more about the game and it’s outcome then he did his own daughter.

In the beginning of the story we are also introduced to Mr. A. H. in the grey suit. He is also an integral part of the story, as he is the mentor of Marco, Celia’s opponent. Mr. A. H. is mysterious, quiet, and quite possibly a murderer.

Our main character, Celia is definitely a favorite character of mine. She is strong, beautiful, and talented in her abilities. She also captures my heart because she is a major bookworm, and holds very high morals. It is no wonder that Marco falls in love with her!

Celia’s opponent Marco is a man of mystery. He was taken from an orphanage by Mr. A. H., so his background and origin are unknown. In his first encounter with Celia, he seems mildly intimidated and nervous. He becomes very restless in his training, and has slightly devious aspects in his game moves, but he plays the role of a co-main character well.

Though we are introduced to many other characters, with them all being integral parts of the story and the circus, we have one other main character to consider. Bailey is introduced to us further in the story, and further in the future, and starts off as a circus spectator. He begins to build a relationship with the twins, Poppet and Widget (whom were born in the circus on opening night, thus being endowed with magical abilities), and in time, becomes a very important piece to the story. It is Bailey’s childish innocence and ability to dream that ties things together and ultimately offers a resolution to the game.

“When you were five years old you turned a laundry tub into a pirate ship and launched an attack against my hydrangeas in my garden.” (Morgenstern, 87).

I recommend reading this one slowly so you can take it all in. You will truly feel like part of the circus. Pay close attention to the dates in front of the chapters and let yourself be immersed into the imagery of The Night Circus.

“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.: (Morgenstern, 387).

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7 thoughts on “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. I love this book, as well! It’s been a few years since I read it, though, and perhaps it will be time for a reread. It just struck me as so unique and immersive. I hope Morgenstern writes something else soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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