“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque Des Reves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus. You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is a dream.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
The premise of this magical book (hehe, pun intended) is a duel between old-school magic and new. A magician, ‘Prospero the entertainer,’ (herein after referred to as P-Daddy), pimps out his 5-year old daughter, Celia after she starts showing signs of being magically inclined. He rings up his old teacher, ‘Mr. A.H.’ and challenges him to a duel in which Celia is a pawn. Once Mr. A.H. finds his own pupil/protégé/pawn (Marco) the battle begins…
P-Daddy and Mr. A.H. both mentor their respective pupils in their own style of magic for many years in anticipation of the ultimate battle between Celia and Marco in which the winner gets to keep their life and the loser ends up six feet under.
Essentially, the chessboard of the duel is the Le Cirque Des Reves (a circus) where Celia is an illusionist and Marco is an assistant to the producer of the circus. Both Celia and Marco create spectacles for the circus-goers as their respective ‘moves’ in the game. However, as the rules and the determination of a winner are unclear, this game continues on with no end in sight. The two opponents, bound together until the death of the other, start to fall in love… because I mean how could you not? As the game continues on, Celia (who is holding the circus together with her thoughts) starts to lose her focus and the once controlled chaos of the circus is now rapidly spinning out of control. The proverbial shit hits the fan, and Celia and Marco must figure out a way to end the game and stay together.
Ok so let us get down to biznasss (sorry I must’ve just had an aneurysm while typing- my sincerest apologies), I would totally give this book a read! Now, I’ve heard rumblings of it being compared to the holy grail *Harry Potter,* and I would not give it that much praise BUT, I do think it is a wonderful book. For me, there is something so special about a story that can completely pick you up and take you into another world that is so inherently preposterous but make it feel completely real. That’s always something worth reading in my *humble* opinion. I’ve also actually read this book twice already. I felt I got more out of it the second time when I wasn’t trying to speed demon read through it because I was desperate to find out what happens. The second time around, I took the time to appreciate the details Morgenstern infuses into each page. Now after writing this I want to read it again… #bookwormprobs. I will say that I was glad to have a physical copy of this book because I was constantly flipping back and forth to check the dates at the beginning of each chapter as they were significant to the story.
P.S. When I started this blog, I told myself I would only include ONE quote in each post that to me, encapsulated the tone of the book. (Mind you, this was mostly for my own benefit, because I could spend hours typing out all of my favorite passages and dialogue and who wants to read half of a book in clips and phrases on a blog? Nobody. That’s who.) Anyway, couple of posts in and I’m already breaking my own rule because I adore this last quote I will leave you with.
“‘Do you remember all of your audiences?’ Marco asks.
‘Not all of them,’ Celia says. “But I remember the people who look at me the way you do.’
‘What way might that be?’
‘As though they cannot decide if they are afraid of me or they want to kiss me.’
‘I am not afraid of you,’ Marco says.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus