I first heard about The Night Circus because of the development of a musical version of the book featuring one of my favourite YouTubers, Carrie Fletcher (AKA ItsWayPastMyBedtime). The story of a magical circus that appears without warning appealed to the child in me, and its underlying darkness appealed to the realist.
The Night Circus is a beautifully crafted book, with several narrative voices intertwined to create a vivid and imaginative picture of the world within the story. Morgenstern’s writing truly brings alive all elements of this story, and considering their complexity both in terms of space and conception, this is no mean feat! Set around the turn of the century, the book follows the story of two young illusionists, who are unknowingly pitted against each other in a competition between their respective mentors. This competition takes place within and around Le Cirque des Rêves, a circus where the acts and illusions are not as deceptive as you may think. While the competition ties together all elements of the story, several other plot lines arc off this central theme to create a complex and thrilling story that you cannot put down. Literally, I couldn’t put it down; I finished this book within a week (which is very good for me!) and last night stayed awake till 4 because I was determined to find out the ending.
The story is surprising, enchanting and expertly crafted to play on the reader’s emotions and imagination in a way that few other books I have read have achieved. I really don’t want to ruin any of the surprises The Night Circus throws at you in terms of plot; the stories weaves around in as many circles as the paths of the circus. This is definitely one of those books that involves the reader so much that when you have finished it you feels a little dazed, and just want to go back and experience it all over again (but with so many books to read who has the time!) The main themes of romance, competition, deception and the complexity of relationships make this story relevant despite its fantastical framework. It is a very human yet at the same time dreamlike story that I think would appeal to most readers.
I would really urge you to read The Night Circus, it was a truly magical book, and considering a film is in development I think it would be a shame not to imagine the circus for yourself before it is set on screen.