Sunday, 22 November 2015

Book Review: The Night Circus

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Series: No
Genre: Magic Realism
Trigger Warnings: -
Rating: 5 stars
Buy: Book Depository

The Circus is a source of mystery and intrigue for all who encounter it. It is different from the others for there are no clowns or bright colours and it is only open at night. No one knows when The Circus will next arrive or where it will go next, but every night there is like a dream.

Not only does The Circus provide unimaginable wonders filled with illusion and fantasy, it is also a front for a great competition. Two great magicians have chosen another two apprentices to complete their traditional challenge to test who is the better teacher. These young apprentices dance around each other carefully, unaware of each other yet connected by The Circus - maintaining the balance whilst also having the power to tear it apart.

Rarely do I give a book 5 stars, and if I do I can rarely find means to justify it in a review. But The Night Circus is not simply another book I enjoyed - it is another book I would read again.

Many characters are a part of Le Cirque Des Reves, but they are merely the cogs that move the intricate clockwork that is the Circus itself. Neither the plot or the characters are what power the story, and although I would ordinarily have a problem with that, it did not slow the pace. Instead I found that The Circus was a character in itself, connecting so many people in a complex web of ties, immersing the reader instantly in the opening pages.

The time lines of the different characters overlap to create the patchwork of the story. Although the number of perspectives were disorientating to begin with, I was slowly able to adjust to the style and connect with all the characters, all of whom were likable and necessary to moving the story forward, even in the most subtle ways.

The Night Circus is magic realism at it's finest. The atmosphere is so rich and complex that to speed through reading it would not do it justice. Morgenstern made me want to reach out and experience the enchanting world that is the Night Circus for myself, so much so that I was disappointed when it was over. Yet the imagery she created was so vivid that I could almost mistake it for a memory.

Do you like the genre of magic realism? Are there any other books you have read that stand out because of their beautifully vivid imagery? Or do you prefer to read things that are more action packed and character driven?

You can find this review on Goodreads.


  1. I have a copy of this and really need to devote the time to reading it! I haven't read that much magic realism, but I have heard so many great things about this book. I swear it has received so many 5 star reviews!

    1. It deserves all the positive reviews it gets! I have to say it was a little bit difficult to get into at first and it wasn't until I was near the end that I decided it was worth 5 stars. The size of the book is a little daunting, which is why it took me so long to read it.

  2. "The Night Circus" had an absolutely lovely setting! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    (Personally, I wouldn't classify it as magical realism at all - it falls firmly into my "fantasy" mental category. But of course all these categories are all one big overlapping Venn diagram, aren't they?)

    1. Thank you! I never know how to label the genre of a book - on goodreads I have it under 'magic' and 'fantasy'