This week I finally finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have been slowly savoring this book for the past… few months. I’m trying to remember how this book was recommended to me, but I forget. I’m sure I was sold when I learned that it was about magic. I am a sucker for fiction about magic. I think it’s a condition that everyone who grew up reading the Harry Potter’s suffers from. We are all looking for something to fill that Harry Potter shaped hole in our hearts these days. Refugees.
That got dramatic. Never mind.
The Night Circus follows a little girl and boy who are taught magic in order to compete against each other once they grow up. Their instructors also serve as their parental figures (one literally and one just by default, I suppose) and are responsible for pitting them against each other in a competition that is meant to lead to one of their deaths. The arena for their dual is the Night Circus, also called Le Cirque des Rêves. The characters eventually fall in love and this, well, complicates the competition. As you can imagine it might.
Here’s what I love about this book: the circus. It is glamorous, magical, other worldly and Morgenstern does a fantastic job transporting her readers there. There are so many details and side characters who are involved with the circus that it really becomes a world of its own. I really think this book is worth the read just for the chance to go to the night circus.
Here’s what I didn’t love about the book: the conflict. The characters dilemma, being pitted against the one you love in a fight for survival has epic potential. But, in the end, the conflict feels more like it fizzles out. I also wish the lovers relationship had been explored more. I think it’s a really interesting idea that they both grew up with cruel, isolating parental figures and yet they had no difficulty falling in love with each other. I can see how their upbringing would give them some common ground to understand each other from, but to me it seems like their pasts would have given them major distrust issues. I would have loved to have seen this obstacle confronted, as I think it would have added a level of depth to the characters and their relationship.
Have any of you read The Night Circus? What did you think? xo. Emma