Review: ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern

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.

Review: ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published by Doubleday Canada on September 13th, 2011
Genres: Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance
Pages: 387
Format: Hardcover
Source: gift
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.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads



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!

reading progress



Word of mouth is a more effective method of advertisement than typeset words and exclamation points on paper pamphlets or posters. (Prologue)
We must put effort and energy into anything we wish to change. (20)
You need to understand your limitations so you can overcome them. (26)
I do not like sitting idly by when something clearly isn’t right. I feel…not trapped but something like it, and I don’t know what to do about it. (152)
You are part of a chain of events, though you may not see how your actions will affect the outcome at the time. (168)
People don’t pay attention to anything unless you give them reason to. (193)
The victor is the one left standing after the other can no longer endure. (300)
Should you choose your questions more carefully, you may receive more satisfying answers. (305)
I feel like one of those girls in fairy tales, the ones who don’t even have shoes and then somehow get to attend a ball at the castle. (312)
To win would worse than losing. (322)
There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, become their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. (381)





  1. Christina @ Between Bookends

    February 12, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    I read this book a few years ago and I absolutely loved it, but it’s been a while and I wonder if I would still like it as much. It is a really SLOW book, but it is beautiful. I actually loved the second person chapters that were added in and I consider this and the chapters from The Naturals to be great uses of 2nd person POV. I really need to read this again sometime.

  2. Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

    January 27, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    I want to read this book so badly! Also, loved reading your status updates. Tis is why I never DNF books!

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

    • giselle

      January 27, 2015 at 4:42 PM

      EXACTLY! Because it does get better 😛

  3. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    January 26, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    I’ve had this on my shelf for so long, and I really don’t know why I haven’t read it yet. The cover is so gorgeous too. I’m a little hesitant about the slow parts, but I hope to actually start it soon. 🙂

    • giselle

      January 27, 2015 at 4:44 PM

      It was very slow..And yep it only picks up halfway into the book, but once you’re there, it gets so much better. I loved her writing

  4. Sophia Rose

    January 25, 2015 at 10:50 PM

    It sounds fantastic to me. I love the mysterious quality it seems to have. Thanks for sharing, Giselle!

  5. Sierra

    January 25, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    I really loved this book. I totally agree with you that it’s super slow in many parts and that the second perspective was not totally necessary at times, but I never thought it was instant love at all between the two leads. It was a slower, romantic build for me and the ending was just amazing. The imagery in this book also just KILLED me. Very lovely review! 🙂

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