I received this book for free from gift in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Doubleday Canada on September 13th, 2011
Genres: Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance
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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Bringing two illusionists with similar powers to win a game challenged by one’s father and the other from a foster parent, Celia and Marco don’t realize they are being pitied against each other. In everything they do with the Night Circus is another nice on a chessboard they have no idea they’re playing. When they realize that one has to die to become the winner, they take matters in their own hands.
Beautifully written, The Night Circus takes place in a Victorian London setting where men are gentleman and women are ladies. All come to the mysterious circus at night and fans are named rêveurs (dreamers) who follow their favourite circus form country to country. There are mini pages where it’s told from a second point of view which adds to another layer of mystery as to how the circus really is. I thought it was a nice touch, but I ended up skipping those pages long after.
The pacing is so slow. So very slow in the beginning that I had trouble even sticking to the book. Everything has been set up perfectly but the story doesn’t start to pick up until you get halfway in the book. At which point I was finally invested in the story. I also felt the romance was completely rushed and instant which isn’t necessarily the greatest thing in a romance. It did make it feel like a star-crossed lovers romance combined with magical realism that not even the suspecting mortals can pinpoint.
Pick this one up if you’re looking for a unique story with an intricate beautiful world full of magic, intrigue and romance!