The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern | Rating: ★★★★★
“Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so
they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets,
important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing
them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them
inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it's
really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good,
as well as yours.”
I felt like I was dancing on the clouds while reading this novel. This could be because I had a fever whilst reading it but I'd like to pretend it's because of its prose and the otherworldly magic it captures. I couldn't put it down and was intrigued from the very start. Morgenstern kept me in place for the duration of the novel and made the tips of my fingers feel warm with joy and--silly to note--magic. It feels like a classic that has been around for all of time--making it timeless to readers and an instant favourite of mine. Fans of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Harry Potter and other magical based fantasies, will find themselves lost in this beautiful novel.
Plain and simple: The Night Circus is a triumph. It's everything modern literature needs.
It is a novel I didn't know I needed--or wanted--on my shelves. A whimsical novel worthy of all the hype it has been accumulating through the years. I swooned. I laughed. I cried. I found myself intrigued in the darkness and magic. The older I get, the more fascinated I am by the prose of high class fantasies. You know, the sort that ooze magic through each and every word. If I had to choose one novel from the last decade that screamed MAGIC in my ears throughout each passage, it would probably (absolutely*) be The Night Circus. While it was unlike anything I had ever read, I felt the same sensations during my reading that I felt whilst picking up novels like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
There's an undeniably modern tone to Morgenstern's prose but the novel itself still feels like something from another time.
The Night Circus reads like the fantasy it is--intelligence woven perfectly into its world building and characters. It read like a bedtime story our grandparents would read to us in hopes of filling our minds with magic, hope, love and all of lives complexities. Morgenstern has a way of building this special world for us and in between times, including us in the story. I've never had an issues with connecting to stories, but there's something extra in The Night Circus that gives us that vividness which almost (not almost: absolutely) has us feeling alight with a sort of childhood we'd long passed.
That being said, I loved the characters. No matter how minor they seemed to the central plots, there was a place for every character. I didn't feel anyone was underused but some may disagree with me on that. I found that the entire book was tied together wonderfully and beautifully. There was this tragic air to it. There was a hopeful air to it. There was a romantic air to it.
You get my point: The Night Circus was a combination of magic and all the tropes we've come to witness in varied forms of fiction. You can't picture any of these pieces without what ties them all together: the circus, the magic, their life and world. Morgenstern breathes life into something unique and spectacular, you feel it in your bones and by the time the story wraps up it's left a mark on you. So many authors have a hard time building onto worlds--while maintaining mystery and intrigue-in the way that Morgenstern did and it's incomparable to most amongst the genre.
Overall, I will gladly reread this again in the future and it has rightfully earned its space on my all time favourites shelf. I truly and completely enjoyed the experience that was The Night Circus and will carry it with me for a long, long time.