The Night Circus

The Night Circus

eBook - 2011
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In this mesmerizing debut, 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.From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: 2011
ISBN: 9780385671729
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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From Library Staff

westcoastreader Feb 21, 2012

Simply the most imaginative book I have read in years. I will actually buy this book to read again and again. I only wish the entire book focused on creating "new tents" in the circus. Bravo!!!

An elegantly written adult fantasy. I was sorry when I finished it! I hope we'll see more from her in the future!

From the critics

Community Activity


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Jan 06, 2021

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is an action packed fantasy book. The protagonist
Celia Bowen has grown up under the tutelage of her father, learning real magic. She is bound to a competition against Marco Alisdair, however the rules and consequences of this competition are unknown to both parties. Their battle takes place in The Night Circus, a spectacular attraction, admired by people from all over the world. A secret society has even become born from the obsession surrounding it. However, its location is a constant mystery. One night it shows up, the next night it is gone. The one thing to pay mind of, is its ability
to never leave a customer unsatisfied. This book has beautiful descriptions with rich characters, and there is never a dull moment. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the fantasy-romance genre.

Dec 27, 2020

This book was very medium. I was excited about the premise, but it moves quite slowly and I barely got through it. There's a really cool cuckoo clock!

Oct 15, 2020

This is one of my all-time favourite books. The characters and stories are enticing, and the world is full of beauty and magic!

Oct 14, 2020

I picked this book up several times, but could not get into it.

Sep 25, 2020

Recommended by Tor - Sarah Waites

Sep 01, 2020

Rachel recommended

Aug 28, 2020

It's been a while since I read it, but I'll add to the many comments that I very much enjoyed this book. It had so much beautiful imagery and characters that I fell in love with. It's kind of a Steam Punk book.

jcljessicaj Aug 19, 2020

I initially tried to listen to this on audio, was very confused, and stopped about a quarter of the way in. After some time, I decided to revisit it in print form. I really did enjoy the story. I'm a sucker for a book about a circus. Add magic to that, and it's even better. I was not a fan of the timeline, though. I found it difficult to follow the chain of events as the story jumped back and forth in time. I do appreciate the importance of all the threads, but it was just hard to follow for me. But I do have to say, the last fourth of the book finally really sucked me in, and it was a thrilling ride to the end.

Aug 16, 2020

I thought this book was just okay....the imagery was pretty incredible but the storyline was quite predictable and some parts were very confusing. I enjoyed the jumping around of the timeline, but I recommend if you are a visual person like me, that you keep a little cheat sheet to keep track of the events.
I think this would make for an excellent movie!

Aug 06, 2020

This is one of the best books I have ever read. I really enjoyed how time skipped around, so I could piece the story together on my own. This is not a mindless read where you can sit back and let the author do all the work. This book will make you think.

I absolutely fell in love with the circus. The way the author describes everything really puts you right in the story. Once I finished, I wanted to erase my mind so I could read it again for the first time.

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Age Suitability

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Jan 11, 2021

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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

Jan 06, 2016

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Monkeyshines thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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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

Mar 14, 2014

EricaReynolds thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Jan 01, 2020

When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words.

Nov 27, 2019

The circus arrives without warning.

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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