The Night Circus

The Night Circus

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2011
Edition: 1st edition
ISBN: 9780385534635
Branch Call Number: FIC Morgenstern E
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Magicians Celia and Marco have been trained as competitors since they were children. When they fall in love, the consequences could be disastrous for everyone around them.

From the critics

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Aug 03, 2019

A fantastical love story spans the last decades of the Victorian era; all while traveling the world in a magical black and white circus that is open only at night. Two illusionists bound to a challenge at a young age, not meeting until their early 20’s and then a few more years to know that the other is their opponent. Marco and Celia will take you on a journey through their love for each other that can never be more than longing glances, stolen kisses that cause an entire room to blush with heat and circus tents disguised as love letters.
Join Le Cirque des Rêves on a journey you will not forget. After one reading you too will become a Rêveurs.
I have read this book multiple times and gifted many copies. One of my favorite books ever, I discover something new each time I read it. You will want to keep reading until the end and then want more. Reading tip: pay attention to the chapter headings; each chapter is a different time and location.

Jul 25, 2019

An extraordinary circus that only appears at night. A circus so incredible and fascinating that some call it magical, not realizing that they are closer to the truth than they thought. For behind the scenes two young magicians are locked in an epic battle, a struggle in which only one can be left standing- although they do now know this yet. Amidst the turmoil, the two find themselves falling headfirst in love, setting off a chain reaction with consequences for all. I loved the descriptions of the circus found throughout the story, which showed a wide scope of imagination. This was a beautiful novel to read, highly recommended for day dreamers and fans of fantasy. Luckily, the plot had enough mystery and intrigue to keep me reading it for more than the just the circus. However, one aspect that did suffer, or at least seem rushed, was the romance between Marco and Celia. With many elements to balance, it’s understandable that character development suffers sometimes. However, I had a hard time rooting for the two magicians to triumph and end up together, which made reading a bit of a challenge. Despite the troubles with relationship growth, this was still a highly enjoyable read. 4.5/5 Stars. @viedelabibliothèque of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Apr 25, 2019

This book is reading outside the box for me. It was recommended by a friend, so I gave it a try. I liked the story line and the characters more than I expected. The ending, however, was disappointing for me. I did not see the "passing on" of the circus to a new lovable person as a "gift". Mild recommendation. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

While the world building is amazing, and the circus is particularly unique and fun to read about the plot is dated and uninteresting. A love story similar in style to Twilight or 50 Shades, it no longer hits the mark in 2019. The plot itself is weak and underdeveloped, nothing really starts to happen until 1/2 way in. Then once things start to happen the big question becomes Why? Nothing is really explained in the way it should be, and come the end of the novel I wondered why we wasted half the book just talking about the circus if it ultimately had nothing to do with the story.

Feb 21, 2019

This book is magical. I enjoyed the characters and the writing style.

Jan 25, 2019

You cannot imagine the wonder of this book. Others have said much of it already, so I'll keep it brief: READ THIS BOOK.

Jan 25, 2019

This book a phenomenon of writing; it quickly zoomed to my favorite authors list. But since she copywrited/printed it in 2011 and hasn't published a second book, I fear that she is a "one-book-wonder."

JCLHebahA Dec 31, 2018

Magical, ethereal, and vivid. Heavier on atmosphere than plot, but I'm the kind of reader who is OK with that. I'd tried reading this before in fits and starts, which just didn't work--it's a story that needs a dedicated chunk of time to get into, and I'm so glad I gave it the space to finally steal me away.

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 06, 2018

*The Night Circus* is a remarkably imaginative and poetic first novel by a young woman with an unlimited future. If you already miss the glowing words of Ray Bradbury, one of his successors is here.

Celia and Marco have been chosen by their fathers from a very young age to be part of a competition of magic. The fathers are old rival “wizards,” of sorts. The children are living out the rivalry of their fathers, although neither child knows about the other until they are teenagers and go to work performing in and creating Le Cirque des Reves – the Circus of Dreams. The Circus itself is the game board of the competition; but the game the young couple chooses to play is not the one their fathers intend.

Le Cirque des Reves is a character in itself, all designed in black and white with the very tiniest of highlights in red. There is no Big Top; instead there are dozens of smaller tents with individual performers or artistic portrayals. You can stay all night in one tent or wander into several. And of course, it is only open from sundown to sunup, because it is the Night Circus. A book full of wonder.

IndyPL_JillL Dec 05, 2018

This book is on my list of books I wish I could read again for the first time. So beautiful.

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

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Add a Quote
Jul 11, 2015

"I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held. Trying to control what cannot be controlled. I am tired of denying myself what I want for fear of breaking things I cannot fix. They will break no matter what we do."

Jun 27, 2015

"The heart of the tale and the ideas behind it are simple. Time has altered and condensed their nuances, made them more than story, greater than the sums of their parts. But that requires time. The truest tales require time and familiarity to become what they are."

Sep 21, 2012

“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Sep 21, 2012

“Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

JewelMcLatchy Apr 18, 2012

The Burgess sisters arrive together. Tara and Lainie do a little bit of everything. Sometimes dancers, sometimes actresses. Once they were librarians, but that is a subject they will only discuss if heavily intoxicated.


Add Notices
midnightvupecula Jul 30, 2012

Coarse Language: Some swearing involved.

midnightvupecula Jul 30, 2012

Sexual Content: Brief sexual content.

E_Kaufman Apr 06, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: People's finger tips get cut off in this book.


Add a Summary
Ashley Chen
Mar 30, 2012

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 Rêves, 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.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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