Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Genre:  Fantasy

Description (taken from Erin Morgenstern's website):
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

I finished reading this book over an hour ago, and I still don't know what to think of it.  I picked it up because so many people said it was the book of the year last year.  And I didn't really know much of what it was about other than the description above.  And yet, you can't really go off of anything else other than the description.

Is there a lot of mystery?  Oh yeah, and that's what makes the book great.  Is there romance?  There is, but it's not the mushy-gushy kind that overwhelms a story.  Is there a competition?  Yes.  Is it set in a historical setting?  Yes, but you're not going to get a historical content satisfaction from this book if that's what you're looking for.  SO WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?  Well, you'll have to read it to find out.  But I can tell you there's a lot of mystery and intrigue.

This book can jump around in years which helps to keep the reader in the dark.  And when you think you're starting to figure things out, the book moves on and still leaves you guessing.  I did have some bits and pieces figured out, but the whole book didn't fall together until the end.  And then it clicked together nicely.  However, not every question you gain from the book will be answered.  It still has a mysterious aspect to it after finishing it, and I think that's what makes the story even more grand.

Who would I recommend this book to?  Anyone who likes fantasy.  Just beware that the book starts out slow because you will be lost until it begins to put things in place for you.

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