BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus – by Erin Morgenstern

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Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
First published: September 13th 2011
Finished reading: October 11th 2015
Pages: 387
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“Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them.”

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The Night Circus has been on my TBR for a long time. Somehow I have managed to avoid this read even though I was really looking forward to it… I think mostly because I have seen a lot of mixed reviews over the past year or so. I finally started reading this novel by Erin Morgenstern knowing it had a strange pace so I made sure to keep my expectations low… I guess that is probably why I ended up really enjoying this read. Sure, The Night Circus is not for everyone and it is quite a slow read, but the descriptions are more than beautiful and make me wish I could visit the strange black and white circus myself. This story is more magical realism than fantasy and I really enjoyed the historical setting. I’m not completely sure I actually liked every character, but somehow that didn’t bother me that much and the prose more than made up for it. I can agree with those that say that The Night Circus is not an easy read and it is best to only read it when you have sufficient spare time, enjoy lengthy descriptions and don’t mind a slow pace. If you do, you will most likely enjoy this read as much as I did.

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The ‘Le Cirque des Reves’ arrives without warning and is full of mysteries. Inside the black-and-white striped canvas tents the visitors can find one breathtaking and unique act after the other and truly have their minds blown away during their stay. Nobody knows when and where the circus will be next, but two things are for sure: it only opens at night and strange things are happening behind the scenes that are beyond their imagination. A competition is currently being held between the two young magicians Celia and Marco, although they are not fully aware of all the rules. They have been trained ever since they were little, but what they don’t know is that only one can survive the contest… And the fate  of the circus is on the line as well. Will they be able to continue the game after they find out what are the consequences of winning or losing?

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I was warned by various readers to be prepared for a slow read and lengthy descriptions, and that probably helped me enjoy The Night Circus even better. The prose and historical setting made this read into something special, and I loved the magical realism elements in the story. Especially the descriptions of the circus are exceptionally well done and reading them almost made me feel like I was visiting it myself. If you like the genre and don’t mind a slow read, I would definitely recommend this novel!

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26 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus – by Erin Morgenstern

  1. Great review! I’ve had this book on my TBR forever now too and I was so excited to read it lol. I think I’m finally going to read it before the year ends. That way I can stop feeling guilty about it sitting on my bookshelf forever haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I was feeling quite guilty myself of posponing this read over and over again! It’s definitely worth reading, although it’s best to make sure to properly ‘sit down’ for it because it does read slow. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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    • I normally like descriptions as long as they fit within the story and genre and are well written… In the case of The Night Circus the descriptions really made the story stand out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Night Circus is without doubt a perfect example of well-written descriptive prose. I normally enjoy reading this kind of prose as well, as long as it fits the genre and has a function in the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not a fan of lengthy descriptions at all, but this book has been recommended by so many people that I know I have to try it. Great review! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had mixed feelings while reading this book last year. I didn’t particularly enjoy it the entire time. I often found myself lost within the story because of the lenghty descriptions. However, there was one description, about the clock I believe, that I loved and made me wish the Night Circus was a real thing. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I can understand the lost feeling because the chapters kind of jump between characters, locations and even time… I would have loved to see the clock and the rest of the circus for that matter! The descriptions are intriguing.

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