The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not (p 1).
Pitted against each other by their powerful and hubristic mentors, Celia and Marco are forced to participate in a game of skill and stamina. They are magicians. The night circus is their venue. The rules are vague but the lives of those tied to the circus are entangled in the game, sometimes with deadly consequence.
Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel is as elegant and enchanting as her heroine’s illusions. The story bends and overlaps and stretches until you have lost your sense of direction just as a circus patron feels skewed upon entering one of the circus tents. But this topsy-turvy feeling is fleeting because what you find inside these black and white pages has captivated you. You no longer worry about leaving. You trust the magic to get you out when it is time. And Morgenstern delivers that magic in spades.
Personal Copy | Random House Inc. | September 13, 2011 | 387 pages | Ages 16+ | $26.95