The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

    Hold on to your hats, my friends, The Night Circus is coming to town and it has brought its magic along with it. I started this book without the slightest clue of what I was dipping my toe into. It didn’t take me long to realize that my whole mind was submerged in a star-filled mystical world where anything is possible if you hold your arms wide open and let the enchantment embrace your mind and body. Erin Morgenstern’s novel is a visual experience that will haunt your imagination like none other books have done so yet. Its intricate attention to details stimulates your senses into believing you’re a rêveur who’s been up all night until the arrival of Le Cirque des Rêves. It holds onto your gaze like a star-filled night and bestows upon you the desire to smile, to discover, to vow your life to a circus that took form through written words. The Night Circus is the story of Celia and Marco. These two individuals who have been bound to a challenge forced upon them by their masters since a very young age, will soon go face to face as the circus serve as their venue, their battlefield. It is their ignorance of how the victor is decided that the tale shifts from a competition to a collaboration, one that will lead them into an unexpected love story set in a magical ambience.

    To some extent, I’d slap the mystery genre onto this book. For a great part of the book, you are left clueless and disoriented by the dazzling arrival of a circus and all its enigmas. Warping from one character’s story to another, this book hands you all the pieces to construct the timeline of what feels like a timeless and endless phenomenon. From the initial creation of the most magical black-and-white-striped circus, to its flamboyant and majestic grand opening, to its unpredictable yet highly anticipated visits to countless towns, The Night Circus never gives you all the pieces on a silver platter. It is a story that holds you by the hand as you embrace your inner child and visit the numerous tents that Erin Morgenstern’s imagination has conjured. The different point of views lays out the different lives of different characters who have all known different pasts but are connected by the one thing that will grow into the biggest sensation and highlight in the lives of many, the circus. It’s acquainting yourself to these characters and their different purposes that you’ll later grasp the battleground and how much is at the stake in the competition that is condemned on Marco and Celia. Everything matters, and the slightest move will have the largest repercussion imaginable. The author notably succeeds in making you forget about the bigger picture in order to enjoy the little things. Forget about the cruelty of what little Marco and Celia have to, sooner or later, go through. Forget about the plans of each of their masters in displaying magic in a world that blindly accepts it as a trick of the eye and not a palpable talent that can be acquired. The Night Circus reminds you that freedom is achieved through your own desire of release, acceptance and love. The story is a test of endurance, a test of love and a test of free will. What will they fight for?

    What will truly win the heart of readers in The Night Circus is its romance. For someone who does not read much, if not any, book that puts romance in its front lines, I will have to say that Erin Morgenstern created the most riveting and mesmerizing love story yet. This isn’t something that will have your eyes rolling or face getting palmed. Love in this book takes many forms. In fact, it is embodied in all its rawest and purest forms and will strike you in the most unexpected ways. I found myself deeply captivated by the electrifying chemistry between Marco and Celia. They have been destined to fight, yet found themselves treasuring one another. Every moment they were together gave me a jolt of joy and a breath of fresh air. It is the timing and the circumstances of the events that are unfolded that make every single one of their encounters such a heavy and passionate moment. What also added an air of mystery to the story is how these two characters were raised during their childhood in preparation for their big competition. While Celia is built around harsh training and hard work, Marco is grown around books and the magic behind spells and glyphs. As they grow up to become powerful magicians who work with true illusions, their attraction and passion for one another is far from being deceptive. What The Night Circus offers its readers is a forbidden love that was never supposed to happen. It is the evolution of a bond very much magical that will struggle to hold together as the mysterious rules of the competition slowly rises to the surface.

    If it hasn’t occurred to you yet, The Night Circus is the most visual experience you’ll ever get. One of my favourite parts in this book is when they introduce the famous clock. The details and the mere idea of it went beyond my imagination. The way its assembled, the work put into it and the importance of it throughout the story marked me till the end. I was thoroughly impressed by the minute details and the meticulous attention that its creator had given to it. I also loved how this very creation had impacted his life in ways that only someone who’s made it with their own hands would know. That character is also the prime example of where one can find magic in a world filled with skepticism. He isn’t like the illusionists that hide their skills by making people think that there’s likely a trick to it that only the magician could know. He is a mere mortal who has shown the world that magic can come from anyone and in many shapes. However, the clock is not the only element that had me in awe. The book is filled with extracts describing unimaginable tents that are brought to life thanks to Erin Morgenstern’s fine writing. Looking for a tent with a contortionist bending her body in ways that the mind cannot comprehend? You got it. Looking for a tent hiding a vertical cloud maze and a graceful and safe descent? You got it. Looking for a tent filled with scent-captured jars that will teleport you to whole new worlds with just a sniff—no drugs, I promise? You got it. I entered The Night Circus with my eyes closed, but Erin Morgenstern had other plans for me. She grabbed me by the arm and threw through a universe that will tease all your senses and bring life to ink.

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    While the pacing was slow and relied strongly on your connection to the writing and all the vivid images that roared through the pages, it is the ending that sealed the deal. There’s no point in giving up on this book because of your inability to see the horizon. Erin Morgenstern knew how to wrap things up and deliver the most satisfying ending for The Night Circus. After all, as you learn about the characters and their stories, you’ll quickly understand the importance of telling a story. Nothing is left in an abyss where no one can reach in and drag out a gem worth sharing with the world. It is the importance of conveying your thoughts through words and reaching out to people that makes everything you tell such a beautiful treasure. The Night Circus does a remarkable job in showing you that every person sees everything in a different way. No one has the exact same experience nor the exact same reaction. Being able to connect with the stories told, and then the writer who tells it, are some of the most amazing realizations you’ll make. The ending does a beautiful job in conveying every little detail that were hidden throughout the book in a blooming and spectacular fashion. The Night Circus is a memorable visual surprise. There’s only one way to find out if it’s your cup of tea, but be careful. If you do end up falling in love with it, it is not something you’ll ever want to let go of.


Check out Trang’s review of The Night Circus by clicking here!


The movie and TV rights were optioned by Summit Entertainment and has David Heyman as producer (know for being producer for the Harry Potter movies) and Jeff Clifford as screen-writer (writer of the Jane Eyre movie adaptation in 2011). However, this news dates back to 2012. One can only hope.

Are you interested in The Night Circus?
You are, you say?
How about you read this book for yourself!
You can purchase your copy @Amazon Canada or @Chapters Indigo now!
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★/

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59 thoughts on “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Ohh, you definitely have to give it a go! It is hard to hate what you’ll be thrown into. The only real problem that can bring you to struggle a little bit is the pacing. It might drag, but once you reach that ending, you’ll feel like everything was worth it! 😀 Thank you so much for your kind words though, it means a lot to me!!

      – Lashaan

      Like

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you so much Diana! I too am not a fan of slow pace or romance, but I actually didn’t expect those two elements in this book. In the end, I still found myself amazed that things worked out quite fine and definitely worked in the favor of author’s style and the importance of the description. If the story intrigues you in any way possible, I think it is definitely something that is worth trying! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Karina Pinella says:

    I read this book after having read Trang’s review. I liked the beginning, but toward the middle it started to drag. It took me a while to finish this book because I was reading two other books that were thrillers so when I would go back to this nook, I would get a little impatient. I didn’t want to give up though because I wanted to see what happened in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      I had recently re-read her review and I can see how it brought you to give the book a shot! She had made some remarkable graphics to accompany her review and get people to dive into The Night Circus. I totally understand why you thought it felt like it was dragging. I too thought the whole story was being dragged a little too much for more than 75% of the book, with many a scattered 25% where things piqued my curiosity. I felt like I was going to end up giving it a solid 4 stars, and maybe even drop it even lower if the ending was not satisfying, but its the ending that changed the whole game for me. I thought it did a beautiful job in giving you a new pair of glasses to see the whole novel through. Every piece of the puzzle started to fit and culminated into a pretty satisfying ending both the relationship end between Marco and Celia, as well as the circus’ fate. I felt chills reading those last lines regarding Widget and Marco’s master. What did you think about the ending though? Did it make you overlook the pacing in the end? Did you still feel like the pacing was too bothersome for you to enjoy the book overall?

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    This is simply perfect! I almost jumped with excitement reading this. You have done such an exquisite job of capturing the very essence of this book 🙂 I do agree it has a very nice element of mystery occurring. I enjoyed the romance that took place which is a rarity indeed and sure sign of solid writing 😉 But more than anything it was how immersed I was.. completely lost throughout the entire story. Fantastic review!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Aww man, thank you so much Danielle! It makes me so happy to hear all the kinds you have to say. It’s even more reassuring when it comes from someone who’s read and loved the book! I swear, I try to avoid any book that has a strong romance element to it because I fear I’ll find it too cheesy and very unsatisfying/unoriginal. I’m really happy that The Night Circus put the bar so high that, like for so many other fans of The Night Circus, I’m going to end up comparing any romance I come across with this book now! The immersion is definitely what had me pushing forward even when the pace tried hard to pull me back in my progress! This was definitely a unique and wonderful reading experience. Thank you again, Danielle!!! I really appreciate your kind words! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I am so so so glad you enjoyed this book Lashaan, and your review was incredibly detailed as well it made me want to go back and re-read this book all over again despite only finished it myself a couple of weeks ago.
    There is so much I love about this book but the main thing was the world-building, and I love the way you spoke about it in this review. There is so much detail that goes into the creation of the circus, I could spend a whole book exploring the grounds. Forget the battle and the love story between Celia and Marco, gives me a whole book wandering through the circus and I’d be a very happy reader. 🙂
    Again great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Hahahah thank you sooo muuch Beth! I’m so happy to hear that! I couldn’t agree more. The exploration of the circus alone makes this book worth checking out! 😀 I’d actually wouldn’t mind rereading this book (something I barely do since I always look forward to reading something new hahaha) with that ending that unveils you know what! I feel like knowing that little bit of information might change the whole way the story is taken in.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        That’s all right, and yeah it was the whole of the circus and the world building throughout that made this book stand out so much for me.
        Ohh, I guess this means this was an exceptional book for you if you’re willing to re-read it again. I will say as many times as I’ve re-read it there’s always something new I discover each time I pick it up. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. LizScanlon says:

    Well… to be honest I am not surprised at all… about what? About you writing another one of those spectacular reviews. I swear, this review is like a piece of art in itself! You’ve got some skills, Lashaan! Mighty!

    I have only read good things about the book myself but have been reluctant to jump on it for the circus aspect… not a big fan of the whole circus thing. Weird… but… I love how you described the romance. I will definitely read this book some time… and I hope I will like it as much as you and Trang did. Fact is, I won’t ever be able to write as good a review as you guys, both! You’re like pen wielders or something! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      There’s is TOOO much kindness in your words!!! This honestly made my day. Thank you sooo, soo much for leaving such a joy-inducing feedback on this review. It means a lot to me! I am sure you would have made a very, VERY entertaining review if you had read this book! I too would have never been truly interested in a circus-related story but the mere buzz around this book over the past years, the positive reviews by sooo many people and Trang’s review of it have made me want to give it a shot at some point in the future (recently)! I didn’t know what I was really getting myself into, but I’m happy that it wasn’t utterly disappointing! I do hope you’ll enjoy it if you ever try it out. It’ll either mesmerize you from start to finish or be a slow burner where the ending has a good chance of making you overlook anything bad you might have noticed! 😀 Thank you again for checking out my review and leaving such kind words too!!! 😀

      – Lashaan

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  5. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Yay so glad you liked this!! I read this a while ago and really enjoyed it!! I definitely agree with you that there’s a lot of mystery in the book! The romance was great! I would absolutely *love* to see a movie version of this- but like you said it’s not really been mentioned in a while :/ Love this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Thank youuu!! 😀 I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it as well! I have yet to hear from someone who’s actually hated this book. I’m surprised by how well-written it was too! The instant the circus was opened, my first reaction was to wonder why there hasn’t been a movie for this yet. It is written TO BE a brilliant and magical movie! It would make so many people squeal in ecstasy! 😛 I can only imagine that there will be an adaptation some day since at least it has its right bought by someone out there. Gotta stay hopeful for a good adaptation though!

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna @MyBookishDream says:

    Amazing review! I LOVED The Night Circus, it’s one of my all time favourite books so I’m very happy to see that you enjoyed it as well. 😀 I adored the writing style in this book, it’s one of the most beautiful that I have ever encountered. Plus I loved the characters and the magic as well. I definitely need to reread this book some time in the future. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Thank youu sooo, so much! I’m really glad to hear you have read and enjoyed it too! It’s definitely a unique book, both in plot and writing. I’d actually wouldn’t mind re-reading this book in particular because of that narrator revelation at the end. I really wonder how that would impact me if I read the book with that knowledge! Thank you again for your kind words and for checking out my review!!! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Zezee says:

    Ahh!! Glad that you fell in love with the circus too, Lashaan. I really was wondering what your opinions on this would be because there are many peeps who don’t like the book much because the writing throw them or they find that the characters are underdeveloped. But Yeahie! You liked it too!
    And like you, I was also interested in how Celia and Marco were trained. A bit of nature vs. nurture there. I loved the clock too and how much the clockmaker adds to the circus without meaning to. Him and his followers (the fans) show how integral an audience is to a performance/event. Their input is just as important.
    And I agree that there’s mystery throughout the story. I think that’s what keeps us reading n wanting more. But overall, I think it’s all romance n I’m surprised I love a romance novel this much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Yeye!! Honestly, I’m with you on that. I’m surprised I ended up enjoying something that can be clearly put in the “romance” genre. Pretty sure it is ALONE in that department though. Worse thing is (or maybe it’s a good thing), I highly doubt there’s any other romance novel that could surpass this reading experience and beat the expectations I now have for relationships! 😀

      I’ve heard some folks complain about the whole underdeveloped characters and some that couldn’t connect with the writing, but I’m pretty sure they are a minority and those kinds of issues feel more like something that is personal to the those readers (not being their cup of tea at all, rather than a huge issue with the book). I mean, The Night Circus has so many mysterious characters who all have a purpose and I believe it is their purpose that should be the focus of the reader’s attention and not a in-depth development of each of their personalities, you know? In my books, the characters did exactly what they needed to do and enough was told about each of their to be able to visualize them and be entertained by them.

      You make a really good point about the whole spectator/audience thing. Makes me wonder if we couldn’t start seeing these “rêveurs” as a cult. Something that almost has a religious aspect to it. Believing in something bigger and much more mystical. Reuniting together and creating new norms and what not. Damn, I think I might be on to something! 😛 But yes, yes! If anything I think it complements the idea of why its important to tell a story and the importance of how they are told! I mean, if you’re telling a story, you better have someone that will read, listen and react to it right? And so begins connections! 😛

      Thank you again for reading and I REALLY appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts. Always love to hear what you got to say about.. well.. anything! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zezee says:

        Aww shucks, thanks. And I enjoy reading your thoughts on things too. 🙂
        I do think you’re on to something regarding the reveurs as a cult. I think they could become that if the circus, or just the reveurs, take a different turn.
        And I agree too about the focus being on the characters’ purpose rather than their development. I actually believe that the protagonist is probably the circus and everyone else is a secondary character.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Adoptabookaus says:

    This is one of my fave books of all times, you are exactly right with the visuals, the descriptions, magic, competition it’s all so atmospheric and beautiful I fell in love with the writing more then the characters although the romance is done in such away it’s really beautiful. I can’t wait to read more from Erin Morgenstern to think this was her debut book! I can only imagine what else her mind can create and can’t wait to read more of her work. So glad you loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Ohhh, thank you so much for reading! I honestly wouldn’t have picked this up if I hadn’t seen soooo many people raving about it (and a co-blogger who put it up in her top favourite books of all time). It really surprised me on so many levels. The circus alone is a reason alone to pick this book up! I actually thought The Night Circus was going to be her one and only book (which was the result of a like four years of NaNoWriMo). People often wonder if she’ll ever write anything else because of how successful The Night Circus–fear of not being able to do just as good or better, you know? It’be really nice to see Erin Morgenstern come out with another book. I’m really curious to see what she could come up next! :O

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adoptabookaus says:

        I’ve wondered that myself, maybe she’ll be a bit like Harper Lee and only have the one amazing book, I do hope she continues writing though I would love to continue to read and support her work 🙂 It would be such pressure though so I could see why she wouldn’t release any details even if she is writing something new.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Adoptabookaus says:

            I have read Go Set A Watchman but i don’t agree that its another book by her because it was technically a draft of what TKAM could have been. Have you read it? I prefer to block it from my brain because it just paints the characters in a way that doesn’t feel right 0.0

            Liked by 1 person

            • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

              :O :O :O That is definitely the first time I’m hearing someone defend such a position. I’ve only read To Kill a Mockingbird and was really looking forward to checking out Go Set a Watchman (especially because of all the fuss around it). I’ve heard about it being a draft of what TKAM could have been, and I’ve also heard that the story could have been seen as an “alternate reality” (and not a sequel) because of that “twist” that you’re probably trying to block out right now. 😀 Well, well, well… Now I’m eager to read this much sooner than I thought I would. 😛

              Liked by 1 person

              • Adoptabookaus says:

                I pre-ordered it and it was before I was really involved with the bookish community so I didn’t do any research and thought it was a sequel :/ it’s definitely not. It does make for an interesting read when you look at it from the perspective of how she fleshed out the characters and how dramatically they changed from first drafts to the final TKAM. There are whole passages that she obviously kept and put into TKAM. I wish I would have read it with that knowledge I would have enjoyed it a lot more 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

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