The Night Circus

The Night Circus

Book - 2011
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"A competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story. The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic. Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway--a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game, " in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will."-- book flap.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2011.
ISBN: 9780385671712
Branch Call Number: FIC Morge
Characteristics: 387 pages


From Library Staff

Saphira Dec 08, 2012

A simply mesmerizing book! Great for Teens and Adults alike.

samdog123 Sep 14, 2015

A magical story, different than anything else you'll ever read.

From the critics

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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.

Nov 21, 2018

This is one of my favorite books of all time. The magical system in this book is so unique and refreshing from the typical magical fantasy novel. The story is about two accomplished magicians who compete by training their apprentices to compete with each other. The one whose apprentice wins becomes the best magician of all time. As the apprentices initially train together they get to know each other. When they are ready to compete the situation chosen for them to compete in is a circus around the turn of the century.
There are other amazing performers in the circus. The characters are believable & unique, which creates different relationships and intrigue. The POV changes in the novel so you get to know many characters. The plot twists and turns as it becomes a competition between the cooperating apprentices and the competition set up by their sponsers.
The uniqueness of the novel threw me a tiny bit in the beginning since I expected the same old things. I quickly got drawn into the story and couldn't put it down. I am glad she is coming out with another novel. I can't wait to see what she will create next. I'd give this a million stars if I could.

Oct 23, 2018

I felt like this book had a lot of potential, and I liked the idea of it, but overall it didn't really grip me. There were a lot of characters that I would have liked to know more about, I just didn't feel lost in the magic of it all.

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Age Suitability

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 25, 2019

selenium_dove_3 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 19, 2018

theatreliv thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 10, 2017

kiersten1111 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 06, 2016

littlemisslyds_ thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 25, 2015

Monkeyshines thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

BostonPL_JordanD Oct 07, 2014

BostonPL_JordanD thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

SlaYall Sep 13, 2014

SlaYall thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 23, 2014

Reading_Robot thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 16

Mar 19, 2014

biggles26 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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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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