The Night Circus Book Review


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called “Le Cirque des Reves,” and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway–a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Why I Read It:

My good friend Nick found a copy, excitingly, at the Half Price Book Store when I was with him and my book club.  His girlfriend, my friend, had got him to read it. They both LOVED it. He had the copy in person, so I relented and gave in.  I am glad I did.


Overall, this book is amazing.  The ideas in it are complex and different about magic. It is something that can be inherent, or taught. A great twist, and what eventually leads to the game this book surrounds.  There is magic, a circus, great characters, and twists and turns. I was sucked into this book and did not want to put it down. I finished it in about a day.

There are time jumps, and character switches. It can become slightly confusing to follow, but after a few of the switches you become more used to it, and it is easier to follow.  The switch in point of view I actually liked, because otherwise the story would have been much less dynamic.  There were moments when I laughed, moments when I cried, and when I hoped things would not go the way I feared. The voice of each character was different, thank goodness. Too often when you switch point of views you wind up with characters who all sound the same.  This is not the case.  The author did a fabulous job here. Characters are well built, they evolve and change, and they are faced with issues unique to themselves.  The game changes them all, in unforeseen ways.

There is romance, as it promises in the blurb. I have seen arguments that it feels like a “love at first sight” thing, but I disagree. I liked the two together, and how their relationship evolved.  I think often the acts we perform in this world speak volumes about who we are.  The magic these two are creating, the tents they set up, truly give each other a view into their soul and their thoughts. It is a way of speaking to each other that so few people could understand.  It is this that leads to their love, and from there that love grows.  I liked it.

Favorite Thing:

The Tents. Oh, I loved the tents and the circus. The magic was lovely.  The tents they created, magical to be obvious in description.  Each new creation was wondrous, and I could envision them easily. Too bad this circus doesn’t exist…

I am afraid to write more as I may start accidentally giving spoilers.  I enjoyed it.



6 thoughts on “The Night Circus Book Review

  1. I’m glad you loved the book so much. I suffered from unrealized premise expectations for this one, but it’s always lovely and really fun to read a review from someone who really enjoyed a book that you didn’t as much because it makes me want to reread it and try to see it through that lens. Great review!

    I too loved the tents. Gorgeous!!

    Liked by 1 person

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