A few posts ago I wrote about how Vampire Academy had been my salvation when it pulled me out of a dreaded reading slump. Well as it turned out, I was only to be afforded a temporary reprieve. The slump returned with a vengeance hitting me with one bad book after another until all the remaining books on my purchased TBR were gone. As if a slump wasn’t bad enough I was to be left in the most feared state of all for a bookaholic – totally bookless! Gasp! This close to Christmas I am under strict instructions not to buy any books from my wishlist so I knew I would have to turn to an old favourite to save me this time.
There are many books that I’ve re-read over the years like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games but despite the fact that The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern really is one of my most beloved books I haven’t touched it since I turned the last page, two years ago. It had such a powerful effect on me that first read that I was scared to go back in case somehow it wouldn’t be the same and the magic would be lost. I didn’t want to risk anything tarnishing the memories of the first time I visited The Night Circus. When I picked it up this weekend though, I was so excited at the thought of running away with the circus again that there may even have been a wee happy dance. 🙂
For those of you poor deprived souls who haven’t yet read The Night Circus, it’s set in the 1800s and tells of a travelling circus which will mysteriously appear overnight, without any warning and will leave just as suddenly a few days later. It only opens at night and unbeknown to those who visit, the incredible sights that await them are not just the product of illusion and theatrics, but are fuelled by very real magic. Le Cirque des Reves (Circus of Dreams) is the site of a secret contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been forced to compete by their mysterious teachers. The two eventually fall in love but as the stakes become increasingly high, the chances of them finding a happy ever after seems to be as much of a fantasy as the circus itself.
There isn’t enough space here to tell you about how amazing the experience is of escaping into this world but before I even try, just take a look at how pretty the UK hardback cover is…
Isn’t it beautiful? Sigh. The edges are trimmed in black, the ribbon and cover underneath in red, with black and white designs throughout to reflect the dominant colour scheme of the circus and those die-hard fans who follow it around the world – the reveurs. The design of this cover fits the story so perfectly that it makes it a work of art in itself and has caused me to give the death stare to anyone who dares drink any sort of beverage in its presence.
What I love most about this book is that the world is built up so vividly and so completely that before you know what’s happening you are 100% immersed in it, and the Circus of Dreams will feel far more real than the actual world around you. With Erin Morgenstern’s attention to even the most minute detail of the circus, it’s hard to remember that it only actually exists in her head, and in ours. And don’t get me started on the cast of fantastical characters that come to life on the page and will feel like old friends by the time you finish.
When it was published a lot of people said it was the next Harry Potter. Yes, there’s magic in it and excellent world building but that’s really where the similarities end so if that’s what you’re expecting when you pick this up, you might be disappointed. It’s also sometimes labelled as YA but Erin Morgenstern has stressed, in several interviews, that it’s not although there is definitely an appeal for older readers of the genre.
In the end though, there really are no words that could ever accurately convey how magical this book is – which is probably why this review won’t turn out to be one of my best! Reading it is a trip to another world and you should be warned that you will most likely suffer from what Kayla over at The Thousand Lives describes as a book hangover! Common symptoms which occur after finishing this book include staring off into space in a daze, re-playing scenes over and over again, an intense desire to dress only in black, white, and red and run away with the circus, and a complete inability to pick up another book for at least two days. You’re welcome. 🙂
Have you read The Night Circus?
Have you ever been afraid to re-read a favourite book? What are the books that transport you to other worlds?