The Night Circus is one of those books that you just know you are going to adore from page one. I bought this when it first came out in hardback and it hung around on my TBR mountain for no real reason other than I just didn’t get to it. That was, of course, until Silvery Dude got the paperback and started harrying me to read it as he had totally fallen in love with it. So of course I had to pick it up because I (mostly) trust his judgement, not because we read competitively, not at all, whatever gave any of you that idea.
So, the Night Circus (or Cirque des Reves to give it its proper title but not its appropriate punctuation) is a touring sensation in the 1880s, with all the attractions of a normal circus but entirely in black and white and with some very particular elements – tents filled with clouds, an unusual clock and a dedicated group of followers identified by the wearing of red items amongst their black and white clothing. The story is not so much about the circus itself, although it is of course one of the main characters if I can put it that way, but is really about a duel (?) bet (?) wager (?), let’s say contest between two practitioners of magic which is played out through their protégés, Celia (the daughter of one) and Marco (the apprentice of the other). A contest that the participants have no real control over and only slowly come to understand who their opponent is. Opponents are. You know what I mean.
This is just glorious, I devoured it in a couple of sittings over a Bank Holiday and was totally immersed in the world that Erin Morgenstern creates. A remarkable set of characters, a narrative dipping backwards and forwards in time, with a really wonderful and believable love story slap bang in the middle and a very satisfying ending. One of those books that you just wish would keep going and that you miss as soon as you’ve finished it.
I know that I’m probably one of the last people in the universe to have read this, but on the off-chance that you haven’t and that you are someone who enjoys being beguiled, then please do read this. You won’t be sorry.
Another read for Once Upon a Time VII.