Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Rating: 5/5 stars
Recommended to: Lovers of fantasy, fans of magical realism, readers who wish to fall in love with vibrant characters.
I had heard about this book in reading circles for a while, but it wasn’t until it was selected as the November book in my book club that I really got a chance to sit down and read it.
I have to say I was completely enchanted by the world of this book, but it was the bravery of point of view that first piqued my interest. This book slides from second person to third person throughout the novel, and as a writer I know how difficult it is to write in second person so I was immediately impressed.
Morgenstern creates a mysterious world you want to know more about, and much like the night circus itself, the book unfolds it’s mysteries one act at a time. At the heart of the book is a simple premise: Two magicians challenge each other to a game where they pit their apprentices against one another until one is deemed the victor. The story is much richer than the sum of its parts though, and by the end of the tale you are as invested in the characters within the story as you are in the magical circus itself.
Thematically I would summarize this book as “the Prestige meets Romeo and Juliet,” but on the spectrum of Shakespearean plays, this would fall much closer to the comedy end of the continuum than the tragedy.