Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus” is a must read for any fantasy fan who likes a touch of romance. Through an arena of a circus, protagonists Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair compete to become the greatest illusionist while simultaneously trying not to fall in love.
In her debut novel, Morgenstern invents a world that one can seamlessly slip into with her beautiful and mesmerizing language and attention to detail. In this world magic exists but is unknown to the greater public. Having the circus only open at night keeps the beauty of magic hidden.
In the story, Celia and Marco invent different tents in the circus as a form of competition. The objective of the competition isn’t revealed until the end of the book.
Other characters such as Bailey, Poppet, and Widget work to keep the circus running when it begins to fall apart around them. Poppet and Widget are twins born on opening night who also harness the underlying magic of the circus.
The story does not follow one singular or even a linear time line. One chapter may illustrate Celia at age seven and the next Marco at age twenty. The Night Circus features a black and white theme-symbolizing two opposing things that come together to create something beautiful like the competitions between Marco and Celia that balance life and death.
This read is a fantastical journey through multiple perspectives and years of the circus. This is a unforgettable read that is hard to put down.
Featured Image: “The Night Circus” book cover. Photographer: Haley Jamieson ’16