A review of ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus

Sometimes when you pick up a book you just know that you’re not going to be able to put it down. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was one such book for me.


Essentially, the novel tells the story of two competing magicians and their protégé’s Celia and Marco. Against the backdrop of Le Cirque des Reves (The Circus of Dreams) these two trainees are pitted against each other in an elaborate challenge that spans years and binds the two young protagonists together in more ways than one. Competing to out-do each other with displays of increasingly brilliant magic, neither Celia nor Marco know how or when the contest will end. All they know is that there can only be one winner.

The circus, with its wonderfully individual and meticulously described signature clock and its individual tents with fantastical names like the Pool of Tears, appeals to all the senses. Every detail is recorded with such brilliant imagination and detail that the reader is transported there through the pages. Add to that the fact that the circus only appears at night, and the whole book feels as if you’ve entered a magical (quite literally!) dream world. In the end, the circus itself is central to the survival of Celia and Marcus, who battle to save their love against all odds and against the will of magic itself.

I’m actually jealous of all those who have yet to read this as I’d love to do it all over again. I’ve been searching for another book like this but as yet I’ve been running up against a brick wall. Any suggestions from other Erin Morgenstern lovers would be more than welcomed!

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4 thoughts on “A review of ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern

  1. If you haven’t read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, you should try it! (By Susanna Clarke). It’s not as easy a read as The Night Circus (it’s very long and I kept waiting for something to happen for the first 100 or 200 pages!), but once I got in to it, it gave me the same sense of a magical world that I didn’t want to leave, just like The Night Circus did. (Or the other way around, I should say – I read JOnathan Strange and Mr Norrell first, and searched a long time for a book to give me that same feeling, before I found The Night Circus).

    And if, like me, ou find it slow in the beginning, the use of language will entertain ou until the good stuff starts happening. Towards the end, I was so conflicted between reading faster to find out how it ended, and reading slower to make it last longer!

    Neverwhere and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

    But maybe I’m just listing stuff that everyone’s read already 🙂

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! I have started Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but at the moment it’s been fairly slow going. It’s been one that I’ve picked up for the odd chapter now and again but haven’t been able to get properly stuck into. As suggested though, I’ll keep going! I’ve heard great reviews about it and I shall let you know my thoughts when I finally finish! I’ll definately check out the Neil Gaiman books as well, these hadn’t been on my radar before and they’ll definitely make it onto my list of things to read. Thanks again! 🙂

  3. You won’t regret sticking with it! (I would have given up, if it hadn’t been for a friend who knew me really well, and told me I would love it if I kept going :))

    For a more whimiscal/magical/lighter Neil Gaiman book, try Stardust.

    I’m constantly on the lookout for books to give me that “can’t stop reading”-feeling, so recommendations are welcome 🙂

    The last books I read that were impossible to put down (different genres from the Night Circus though) :
    The Book of Night Women (Marlon James)
    The Kitchen House (Kathleen Grissom)
    The Books of Negroes (‘Someone Knows my Name’ in the US) – (Lawrence Hill)
    The Lieutenant (Kate Grenville)
    The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
    Cane River (Lalita Tademy)
    The Hunger Games series
    The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
    Island Beneath the Sea (Isabel Allende)

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