The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

night circusThe Night Circus isn’t an ordinary circus. Not the kind in where lions jump over flaming hoops of fire, and acrobats balance on tightrope, or when magicians use mirrors and distractions to do their tricks. It’s a circus that opens only at night, named Le Cirques de Reves, meaning, the Circus of Dreams, features beautiful imagery stuff, blooming with details. Like a garden made of ice, acrobats are soaring without a net, and a cloud maze where you simply get lost, step off and float to the bottom of the tent, and even a contortionists, who twists herself into small tiny impossible knots.

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcement precede it, no paper mentions it on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions on advertisements on local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” –Opening line

 

Isn’t the first lines enough to grip the reader into the story? A circus, appearing so suddenly. But the circus does have a back story. As the story moves on, the reader will get introduced to a small girl named Celia Bowen, whose mother recently just died, and was sent to her father. His father is Prospero the Magical, a very famous magicians, who does not use mirrors or distractions to do his tricks or by his real name, Hector Bowen. He knows Celia has potential when he first sees her, and decides to train her, making her magic more and more complex. As time moves, Celia could make things really appear with her magical powers. She can fix broken things,and turn something to something else, like some random guy’s watch to metal to sand and back again. She can also transform herself. It is an illusion to most people, but it seems really real. At the circus, her job was the illusionist.

Actually, the reason why Hector Bowen trained her daughter is actually more complex. He and his rival, Mr. A-H, had bound Celia and another orphan boy named Marco Alisdair, to do a competition. It goes on until one of them is unable to continue. In other words, dead, at the circus as the stage. And what is Marco’s magical abilities? He’s the ‘chief’ of the whole circus. He’s also a kind of illusionist. The way A-H teaches him is by bringing him everywhere and giving him lots of books. Soon he is able to show people what they are thinking, as an illusion around them, and transform his looks. He and Celia are supposed to be under competition, but the competitors never understood how the winners are decided.

And that is when Romeo and Juliet turns up. As always, love is always quick, and unexpected. The two fall in love, when they are not supposed to, causing an uproar in the competition. Tensions start to build. Marco’s ex-girlfriend is so jealous. When her part of the circus doesn’t function, one of Celia’s dear friends get stabbed in the chest, and because of the unwanted love, near the end, the circus is in chaos.

“Old stories have a habit of being told and retold and changed. Each subsequent storyteller puts his or her mark upon it. Whatever truth the story once had is buried in bias and embellishment. The reasons do not matter as much as the story itself.”

This is one of my favorite quotes, revolving around the Murry twins, Widget and Poppet, who were born on the day the circus opened; before and after midnight. Midget had the power to view the past on people and Poppet can see the future. Celia helps them train as she views a big potential in them. And yes, they also have an important role in the circus. Their parents are the trainers of big cats, and they also share that talent, with the ability to ask kittens to jump with a twist in mid air and climb all over them.

The story has dates all over them. Some of the chapters talk of the past while others talk about the future. So the reader has to pay attention to the dates to know what is the past and which happens later, as the story is not in chronological order. For me, is a very creative idea to write a story.

Erin Morgenstern wrote ‘little random things’ in her junior high and high school, but never dreamed of becoming a writer. She studied play writing in collage, but never did any plays. After collage, she did not started to write at once, but started at her mid twenties. The Night Circus was published when she was 32, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. And she tends to be a binge writer. She is currently 38, born on July 8, 1978. Some other awards include Goodreads Choice Awards Best Fantasy, Goodreads Choice Awards Favorite Book. The only books she wrote is still currently The Night Circus.

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