In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.
Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs – the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love…
A fabulous, fin-de-siècle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.
This book flew under my radar. It was released in 2011, but I did not hear anything about it until this year while watching book reviews on Youtube. I didn’t think much of it then, but after I finished listening to Throne of Glass on audiobook, I needed something to pass the time before Winter came out.
So I went on Goodreads and looked through lists of best audiobooks. And The Night Circus showed up consistently.
So I downloaded it from Audible, even though I basically knew nothing about it. I listened to the first few chapters and still had no idea what was going on.
And then it captivated me.
It’s the type of book that you have to read all at once, because you are so immersed in it that it’s hard to break out and jump back in. It took me literally forever to finish it because school took off, but the days that I did listen, I could not stop for hours.
It’s a unique story, but the best part of it is the way it is written. Everything is described with such rich detail. Everything is said exactly the way that it needs to be said. Some people are not a fan of all the description, which I can understand, but for the audiobook, it was wonderful. I felt like a little kid being told a bedtime story.
The audiobook had some drawbacks, though. First, the physical copy is gorgeous. I’m a little sad that I don’t own it. Second, the story does not follow a linear timeline, so it was really hard to keep track of everything, and I couldn’t really flip back to keep it straight. I had the same problem with all the different character names. So while the audiobook is fabulous, it might also be a good idea to buy the physical copy as well.
I’ll admit that it was a complex story and that some of the details slipped by me since it took over a month for me to finish, but I still loved it. Since I didn’t quite understand everything, I might reread it again someday. It’s definitely worth it.
So tell me: Have you read The Night Circus? Did you know that it began as a NaNoWriMo project? Do you have any recommendations for books similar to this one?