Monday, January 23, 2012

CBR IV: Book 1: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

"The circus arrives without warning."

The Night Circus is the story of Celia and Marco. Two magicians who are forced by their mentors/masters to compete against each other in order to prove...something. Neither of them knows the rules of the contest, or even how to know if they are winning. Of course, they fall in love, but the story is about much more than that.

Celia and Marco are interesting enough, but the real star of the book is the circus itself. All of the decorations are entirely in black and white, and there are innumerable attractions. Celia is the resident illusionist, but there is also a fortune teller, acrobats, contortionists, and gymnastic kittens. After a couple of years, some people start following the circus from town to town, creating a "Dead Head" type culture that obsesses over every minute detail of every aspect of the circus. They become known as reveurs, and are easily identified by their black and white outfits with red scarves. I particularly enjoyed the "Midnight Dinners" hosted by Chandresh Christophe Lefevre where he and some of the other guests created the concept of the circus.

This book was delightful. The descriptions were vivid, especially the ones about the food. I have been craving candied apples and caramel popcorn ever since! Everything in this novel made the circus feel alive. It made me want to run away and become a reveur and join the circus.

I give it 5/5 stars, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Victorian novels, fantasy, romance, or adventure.

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