Le Cirque du Rêves does not publicize its tour destinations. Its arrival goes unannounced in the local papers. Its dusk-til-dawn schedule is inhospitable to families. But no matter: there is no need for publicity or fanfare or convenient operation hours. The mere reputation of The Night Circus is enough to draw the crowds.
This is no county fair, with face-painting and ring-toss booths, nor even a normal three-ring traveling circus. There are no barkers, no hucksters, no carnies from a Tom Waits song. The Night Circus elevates the concept of the carnival to a lush, luminous, sensuous feast for the senses. Some acts are familiar– the fortune teller, the lion tamers, the acrobats– but others are strange and new and wonderful. There is a cloud maze, a wishing tree, an ice garden that never melts. It is magical.
Literally. The circus is magical. Most of the performers are just ordinary people with a professional passion for entertaining, but Celia and Marco are magicians. Celia, an illusionist, and Marco, a circus assistant, are unknown to one another. They do, however, know that they have trained their whole lives to compete in a duel with a magical opponent.
Naturally, Celia and Marco complicate matters by falling in love with each other.
Erin Morgenstern’s debut is getting a lot of positive press. It is being touted as a fantasy novel that will appeal to people who don’t normally read fantasy. The only magic here is of the stage-magician variety; there’s not even a struggle between good and evil, much less a whomping willow or a ring of power. Lovers of literary fiction will appreciate Morgenstern’s luscious descriptions, and fans of historical fiction will like the carefully-crafted atmosphere of a traveling circus in the late Victorian era.
Check the WRL catalog for The Night Circus