“Night Circus’’ by Erin Morgenstern
“Le Cirque des Reves’’, or “The Night Circus’’, is not an ordinary “Barnum & Bailey’’ sort of show. The tents suddenly pop up with no warning. The gates open at dusk and close at dawn. The performers create illusions and exhibitions that are beyond reason. Every part of the production, from the tents to the costumes, is done in black and white.
Against this enchanting backdrop, two young magicians, Celia and Marco, are destined to face each other someday in a magical competition. The challenge arises from a cruel wager between Celia’s father, “Prospero the Enchanter’’, and his nemesis, a man who always dresses in a gray suit. They decide to create a magical circus that will one day provide the venue for the duel.
Prospero inflicts great pain on his daughter to prepare her for the eventual match. Marco is picked from an orphanage by the gray man, who coldly trains his pupil in a townhouse in London. Marco and Celia eventually learn they will have to face each other in the duel. They also discover that only one of them will survive. When they realize they are in love, the star-crossed lovers incite the wrath of their trainers.
The novel unfolds over a period of 30 years, starting in 1873. The story is rounded out by delightful characters, including red-headed twins named Poppet and Widget. Beautifully and imaginatively written, Morgenstern's debut novel creates an enchanting but sometimes dark world like no other. Check our catalog