Book Review Sunday | The Night Circus

The Night Circus written by Erin Morgenstern.

Can I just begin by saying how sad I was when I read the last page in the book. Not because it was utterly tragic or ending in a horrifying way – no. I was sad simply because the book was ending. Yes, that’s how good it was.

The Night Circus is a book about a competition between two young people who’s fates are entwined because of two old men and their boredom. The two bored, old, magicians each choose an apprentice to serve as their pawn in the game – and these two game pieces are the main characters of the book.

But it’s so much more than that. The other participants of the circus and around it also have their stories told in the book and are carefully handled not as side characters but rather as important parts of the main story.

Although the first three-quarters of the book are, in my opinion, a lot better than the last quarter, the entire book has a way of “dragging you down with it”, if that makes any sense. Down into the early 20th century and late 19th. Down into a dark setting of industrialisation, trains, and a quirky circus. Down into melancholic personalities and power-mad old men.

Melancholic, how? Oh, let me show you:

Aaaah it’s so beautiful!

Perhaps this is what I love most about The Night Circus. How clever and beautifully it’s written. It’s ridiculous, really, how mesmerizing words can be when put in a certain order. Thank you, Erin Morgenstern, for having the ability to do just that (and please write another book soon!).

The format, in which the book is written, is a new fun way of presenting a story. When reading this book you’ll find that it has quite a few different passages where you’ll both be portrayed as an actual visitor at the circus (where most of the story is placed) and also as a viewer from a distance – secretly watching as the story unfolds.

At first, you may find that there are many names, many personalities, and many places to hold on to in order for you to even understand a fraction of the story. This is also part of the book’s charm. Yes, it is confusing at times (especially in the beginning) and yes, it is also frustrating – but it’s necessary, I promise.

All of the characters are interestingly enough spooky in their own way. Or, you know, that’s what I think of it at least. It’s a good thing, though!

Chandresh is one of those characters:

I kind of love him. I hope you’ll do too.

On another note, this story isn’t just quirky scenery and interesting characters. It’s also a story, as so many before this one, about love. The love story that slowly develops throughout the book is, on one hand, not a favorite of mine – on the other hand, I believe it’s essential to how the story unfolds in the end. No spoilers.

If you like a slightly dark undertone and a story that’s both intriguing and yet makes you feel uneasy – here you go, it’s perfect for you. You’re welcome.

Above all this book is a gem to care for, love, and cherish. It’s beautifully written, the setting is quite fantastic, and the characters are all wonderfully depicted. I recommend this book, highly. Read it!