Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Released: September 13th, 2011
Received: Own
Rating: Kitty Rating

The Night Circus is Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, and I just realized that I never wrote a review for it! It’s probably a bit too late now, especially with everyone gushing about her latest novel (The Starless Sea – which is an absolute must-read if you’re wondering). But that’s okay.

If you’re a fan of carnival themes, dramatic and iconic imagery, and the idea of magical games, then The Night Circus is a novel worth checking out. When magical masters get bored, sometimes they go to extreme lengths. And sometimes they’ll start a contest unlike any you’ve ever seen before.

Enter Celia and Marco. They are two young magical adepts, but with very different skills and talents. Celia is a natural; her magic is all about imagery and sleight of hand. She was raised to hide her magic behind the guise of stage magic. Meanwhile, Marco was raised with grimoires and magical tomes. He undoubtedly has a better understanding of magical foundations, but little understanding of his own limitations.

These two have been raised to oppose each other. They will compete by magical means, without ever knowing the true definitions of the game they’re playing. And likewise, they are expected to find their opponents without any help or guidance. Naturally, that means these two are ultimately destined to fall in love.


“How can I excel at a game when you refuse to tell me the rules?”

Spoiler Warning

Hrm. My description may have gotten a little long there. But that’s probably all the proof you need that I absolutely adored this book. It has been stuck in my head ever since the moment I read it, and I have no regrets about it remaining there.

The Night Circus was a fabulous read, one full of rich details and this striking aesthetic that I just couldn’t get over. Combining circus, magic, and iconic imagery all resulted in something truly wonderful. The secondary characters played larger than life roles, fleshing out the world to even further extents. It was all brilliantly done.

The love story in this novel was both everything and nothing like what I expected. And that was a delightful blend. It was romantic and full of surprises. It was a study in human behavior. And it was so stunningly intense and brilliant.

I haven’t heard any news of The Night Circus being adapted into a movie or TV show, but I still can’t help but hope that someday it’ll happen. I want nothing more than to see the imagery stuck within my head come to life.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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