• Noha Badawi

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

In this magical piece of work Erin Morgenstern created, the circus, le Cirque des rêves, is not like the ones we went to as kids; believe me, this will be something you’ve never thought of seeing one day.

Nothing can ever express or do justice for the amount of love I have for this book! Adding it to my ultimate favorites list doesn't begin to cover it.

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 taking place – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. This is a game in which only one can be left standing – a knowledge discovered by each when it’s too late, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern, Vintage books, Random House, September 13th 2011,  ISBN: 9780099554790, Paperback, Rating: ★★★★★, 502 pages

The book starts with a prologue that made my eyes go all sparkly, and nearly popped out of my head just because of how alive the description of the circus is. The prologue alone brought a mysterious air, loaded with curiosity and a need to be there when the circus comes to life.

“The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds or crimsons to be seen. No colors at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. The circus looks abandoned and empty… But you think perhaps you can smell caramel wafting through the evening breeze, beneath the crisp scent of the autumn leaves. The sun disappears… all over the tents, small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies…”

The story is told throughout two different periods of times; the year 1873 where it all starts and the year 1902 when things are building to a crescendo. Throughout the book, years go by until the dates start to meet in the middle and events start to click together.

The story follows two, very old, rivals who are constantly challenging each other through their students; they’re magicians disguised as illusionists, you see. A man named Hector and another named Alexander, each choose a student; Celia’s Hector daughter and Marco is Alexander’s adopted boy. Both are bound by a binding spell from a very young age. Their childhood and teenage years are spent in studying, training, learning about magic and illusions, about energy, about manipulating the world around them; yet they never learn about the challenge or each other’s identity for that matter.

"I have been surrounded by love letters you two have built each other for years, encased in tents. It reminds me of what it was to be with her. It is wonderful and it is terrible."

Every character throughout the story offers an adventure on its own, a unique experience and it's beautiful how they unfold slowly and magically with every single word.

When a man named Chandresh decides to create a circus like nothing ever seen before, Marco happens to be his assistant and Celia happens to be the most astonishing, perfect, illusionist to perform in one of the circus tents. And despite every universal rule for the game, they fall head over heels for each other; that’s the real challenge, to survive the game together.

The Night Circus is filled with an astonishing cast of characters; each was a strong pillar to this fabulous and fantastic tale of magic. It’s a tale of power, endurance, and the need to prove oneself. It’s a tale of love and passion. It’s like a delicious plate for the imagination; all the circus performances, the sparkly lights, the tents with magical venues Celia and Marco creates; which later on they know that they’ve been doing it as gifts to each other not a challenge.

“Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.”

The things Marco made Celia see and live when she needed to escape from what’s binding them to compete against each other and all sacrifices she made to prevent anything happening to him. The Muray twins; Widget & Poppet and how they were some sort of a source of strength to Celia just like Marco was. The dreamers who followed the circus everywhere it went around the world; just for the sole purpose of following their dreams.

This book is like a train with a stop in every corner around the world and you wouldn’t want to miss your spot on it; because it’s exactly “Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars.”

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”

#TheNightCircus is a one of a kind story that rattles your mind and change how you look at the world. it's a story that you must #read at a certain point in your life; not one time, but over and over again.



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