I don't know how to convey how much I love this book. I've just finished reading it for the second time and I just know that I will read it again in a few years.
I seem to have read a few books about magic recently - is this a trend? I'm not particularly drawn to stories featuring magic but this one is a cracker. The Night Circus is a magical circus which appears and leaves with no warning. Inside the circus are many tents containing circus acts - illusionists, contortionists, tarot card readers to name a few. Unlike a regular circus there are also tents containing other attractions - ice gardens, wishing trees, labyrinths - which are sustained and developed with magic.
The central relationship in the novel is between Celia and Marco, both magicians drawn together by a magical contest woven through the circus. As their magical powers develop they learn more about each other and their relationship deepens. The denouement of their relationship is at the same time heart wrenching and life affirming - no spoiler here!
Their are other wonderful characters - Bailey, a young American boy who loves the circus and discovers true friendship their; twins Widget and Poppet whose whole lives are bound up with the fate of the circus; Isobel who loses her love but finds friendship in the circus; Tsukiko who is far more mysterious then she at first seems. I could go on, there are so many characters to love.
The narrative swings between the earliest days of the circus and the contest between Marco and Celia which happens when the circus is maturing. Because of the magical nature of the circus meant that I was happy to accommodate these swings of time; in fact it seemed perfectly natural that a circus such as The Night Circus wouldn't be bound by the normal rules of time and space.
Erin Morgenstern is currently writing her second novel which isn't a sequel to The Night Circus. I'm really looking forward to reading her next book and seeing where her phenomenal imagination takes us next. Although I am still hoping that there will be a sequel in the future - I'd love to find out what happens to Bailey, Poppet and the rest as The Night Circus rolls on.