My first encounter with The Night Circus came over a year ago, when it was featured in Entertainment Weekly's book review section. Oddly enough, my other half was full on for me reading it. At the time, I was fully engrossed in another series, and shelved it to my to be bought pile.
The moment I peeled open The Night Circus, I was entangled in mystery. There's a silent and precious dichotomy to the story telling that feels like a single budding rose opening stunning moment by moment to reveal petal by petal a soft fragrance and inner beauty that grows with each page turned. We learn the story of the Night Circus through the eyes not only of it's performers and admirers, but its creators and inventors.
And all of this, a rich backdrop to a not so simple game. Where the competition is only known to a few, the competitors, their mentors, and a scant couple of not so outsiders. The part that makes this all so beautiful? The love story, not just of a boy and girl, but of a creator and its creation...between magic and the believers unfolds over years, building layer upon layer until every part is utterly intertwined.
First off, let me say I adored the way Erin Morgenstern chose to tell her story. At first, I had to remind myself of the timeline, but it soon became as much of the story as the colors of the circus itself. It slowed the story while equally giving every moment a sense of gravity.
I found myself surprisingly feeling sympathy to the gray, forgetful mentor...and loving the strength the competitors felt towards each other and the circus. Sometimes, those around them would crumble, but Cela and Marco found strength where others couldn't.
The Night Circus itself becomes a living, breathing character in the tale, from the mysterious contortionist, a fantastical path of clouds, to the opening bonfires and ice garden full of glistening living spectacle.
Inspiration, courage, and beauty. All under one spectacular big top. A love story with many characters, but held together by two people who seem to make impossible seem possible.
If I could make a wish and light my very own candle, my wish would be to visit this world once again...and don't be surprised if I do.