In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story.
The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway - a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
A Globe and Mail Best Book
"A book that stops you in your tracks, a book [that]… tears you open and leaves you gasping…. A book that makes the hair on your arms stand on end, and that has you picking up the phone or sending a text to tell everyone you know, 'You have to read this.'… One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again…. The Night Circus welcomes all visitors."
—The Globe and Mail
"It's a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits."
"Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing. Morgenstern - in much the same way as her cast of magicians and performers might - builds a fantastic creation out of words and spells and ink and paper and the power of imagination. And like her colorful characters, she's not dealing in illusions and sleight of hand. This is real magic."
—The Seattle Times
"So should you read Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus? The short answer: Yes. The book is engaging and magical, entrancing the reader every step of the way."
—The Huffington Post
"Read The Night Circus and be mystified, finish it, as breathless as an aerialist, and you'll want to start again… you won't want to miss this amazing book."
"With a showman's flourish in an opening paragraph, author Morgenstern invites readers into a mesmerizing 19th-century world where everything and nothing is real, and even the characters don't know the difference. There are shivers here, as well as a story of betrayal, mistrust, love and horrifying secrets. I was captivated by this darkly stunning debut novel from an author who bears watching, and there's no way you should miss it, either. So step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and be amazed at what you'll find between these fiendish covers. For you, The Night Circus conjures a most excellent read."
"Morgenstern manages to conjure up a love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic. When Celia calls their circus a 'wonder and comfort and mystery all together,' she could have been talking about this book."
—The Washington Post