I picked up “Le Cirque des Reves” or “The Night Circus“, by Erin Morgenstern (Anchor Books) as part of my commitment to venture beyond my obsessive need for urban fantasy, and found a novel that quite took my breath away.
Set sometime in the late 1800’s – early 1900, “The Night Circus” is the story of two master illusionist playing out their personal rivalry within the magically bound lives of a boy, a girl and a circus. Without rules, known consequences or constraints, the players are groomed from childhood to out perform, out maneuver and out illusion their unknown opponent.
Like a master loomarian, Morgenstern shuttles the intricate threads of her story and characters back and forth in such vibrant complexity, that it’s difficult to tell where one stops and another begins. Every scene, every event builds upon the other until I felt like the book either needed to reach its climax or I was going to explode (no shade of grey here). From the books opening line; “The circus arrives without warning.” until a young man’s story is finally told, I found myself so caught in the authors threads of magic and illusion, that I was unable to disentangle myself until the very end.
To say that there needs to be a sequel to “The Night Circus”, goes without saying; there are far too many stories yet to be told. I give Ms. Morgenstern 5 stars.