Book Review- Night Circus

"Le Cirque des Rêves- "The circus of dreams" appears from nowhere, opening at nightfall, and closing at dawn. This is the first thing you learn in "Night Circus", a brilliant debut novel by Erin Morgenstern.
It is certainly no ordinary circus, being the setting for a competition between two magicians, Prospero the enchanter, and the mysterious Mr A. H., who have each trained one competitor, Celia and Marco respectively, since childhood, to participate in a battle of magic which can leave only one survivor.  Celia and Marco, who are unaware that they are competing against one another, or of the ultimate outcome, spend their time trying to outperform each other by creating intricate magical attractions for the circus. Over time, they fall in love.

 This is a book that captures your imagination, in part by the descriptions of the circus and all it contains. 

Everything in this circus is themed black and white, with touchs of red.  The maze of black and white striped tents, the costumes worn by the performers, the big cats (a panther and a spotted snow leopard), right down to the smallest of  details, such as the tarot cards used by Isobel, and the refreshments for sale (including popcorn, dark and white chocolate mice and hot cocoa to drink), follow this monochromatic colour scheme.  Even the Rêveurs, who follow the circus, (some where ever it goes), are described as being dressed

 “ in black and white, with a single shock of red; a scarf or hat, or maybe a red rose."

The touch of red allowing them to recognise each other.

One of my favourite parts of this book are the beautiful descriptions of the attractions contained within each tent, randomly scattered throughout the book.  The Ice Garden, Bedtime Stories, Hall of Mirrors, The Pool of Tears, and The Cloud Maze, to name but a few. These are each described in intricate detail, enhancing the magical quality of the story, and leaving you wishing you could go to Le Cirque des Rêves, and visit these attractions.

Although the book does jump around in terms of time and place, this can be overcome by reading the date at the beginning of the chapter, and for me, didn't detract from the story at all.

 I really enjoyed this book, finding it original story that successfully combines magic, illusion, love and suspense, and I was quite unable to put this book down, reading it late into the night to find out what happened next. 

 I can’t wait to see the movie interpretation of the book, the rights of which have been optioned by Summit Entertainment,  the makers of the Twilight series of movies.