My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is not just a book, but rather an experience to be read. A beautiful, magical world has been created for you, ready to be entered just as soon as you turn to page one.
I loved this novel. It was so transporting and enchanting that I dragged out my reading, rationing it out to myself so I could live in Morgenstern’s world for as long as I possibly could – before I simply had to discover how it ended.
I knew very little about this book before I picked it up, and I think that’s the best way to go into it. If you begin it with certain expectations, you may be disappointed – as I don’t think any plot summary can really do justice to such an intricately crafted story. In some ways if you are searching for an adventure, or romance, or period novel – this is not the one for you. But in other ways it absolutely is all those things and so much more.
Morgenstern has written so lusciously. The pages are oozing with glorious imagery and elaborate detail of the circus, its residents and the world they all inhabit. There is so much life in this book it felt like I was really at the circus myself. It was all so beautifully depicted that I had nostalgia for this imaginary world. An attack on all the senses, I could almost smell the popcorn and taste the caramel. It is just superb. I loved the Victorian era setting of the novel too. It provides another air of mystery and excitement across the various cities the circus visits.
As odd as it sounds, the circus itself seems like a major, if not the main character of the novel, it is described so viscerally. However, of the actually sentient characters, I love them all. They are all so layered and their magic makes them so intriguing. I particularly love the twins, Poppet and Widget, as they grow and come to terms with their own magical abilities.
The first few chapters of The Night Circus actually can be confusing though. What begins as a seeming mess of unconnected characters and time jumps (these especially can be quite hard to overcome) could put those looking for an easy read off. And the multitude of characters can seem overwhelming. But if you stick through it, it all becomes clear and all the assumed random pieces of the book come together beautifully. The jumps between different points of view help get a more rounded impression of the narrative and the brief second person chapters are really something special. This is definitely a world that warrants many revisits, if only to devour the delicious prose.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars