“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
This quote describes how I feel about the book, kind of. Let me explain.
I originally found a copy of this book in perfect condition at Value Village and thought the cover looked really interesting. I didn’t read the dust jacket or anything before I bought it and simply judged it by the cover. This book has been on my ‘to read’ list for a while but I always found something I would rather read instead. It went completely out of my mind. I decided that while I was driving home for my break from school I would listen to an audiobook. While browsing the Edmonton Public Library EAudiobook collection I happen to come across The Night Circus in the romance section. I thought, why not? I probably won’t get around to reading it otherwise.
So I downloaded it and started listening to it. I was instantly engaged in the world and the characters. The descriptions of the settings and the relationships between the characters felt so real to me. Since finishing this book I have almost been a little obsessed with researching victorian travelling circuses. I didn’t want the magic of this book to end! I feel like if Le Cirque des Reves was a real circus I would be a Reveur for sure. And I’m going to knit myself a crimson coloured scarf for sure!
So in relation to the quote, one day the book was not there and the next it was and I had no warning in how it would affect my life. That sounds really melodramatic… Oh well.
The story follows two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been pitted against each other by their teachers in a challenge where only one can survive. The venue for the challenge is Le Cirque des Reves. The only problem is that Marco and Celia have fallen in love and now must find a way to get out of the challenge with both of them still alive. I loved all the characters in this book and they all felt so real to me.
There were so many things I loved about this book and I’m having a hard time articulating them. I really liked the foreshadowing and how it was incorporated in the text. Poppet, one of the twins who were born in the circus, has the ability to see the future in the stars. When she sees things she tells Celia about it and it is fascinating to try and figure out when and how her visions will play out. For example, (spoiler alert!) when Poppet says she doesn’t want them to put the nice lady in the ground. When Celia asks which lady Poppet responded that she didn’t know because they looked the same. She doesn’t elaborate any further, but I was able to figure out that it was probably one of the Burgess sisters who would die and I was right.
This book isn’t considered a steampunk novel but I got a similar vibe from it. It’s possible it was because it was set in the same era but there are some other factors that I can’t seem to put words to. I love the movie The Prestige and The Illusionist was pretty good too, and The Night Circus fits into that same genre. I am definitely going to be reading more from this genre and I’m excited about doing more research on Victorian circuses!
PS. I found this tumblog: Calling All Reveurs :3 yay!