★★★★★ · reviews

The Night Circus | Review

Title: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Genre: Fantasy, fabulism

Rating: ★★★★★

The Night Circus is pure magic. It is a whimsy, lyrical, and atmospheric tale of magic and illusion, romance and betrayal, and spectacular storytelling.

SPOILER LEVEL: LOW | This review contains minor details about the characters and plot of this novel that can be found on the blurb.

The Night Circus is pure magic; there is no other way to describe it. It is intricate, lyrical, and beautifully written. In my opinion, Erin Morgenstern’s writing style and world creation has no equal–I am in awe of the way she tells stories. After reading The Starless Sea, I declared it my favourite book and Erin Morgenstern my favourite author, but that title was not assured until I read The Night Circus. It is now confirmed. I am obsessed with her incredible writing and beautiful storytelling.

I would happily live within the pages of the worlds she has created, and cannot wait to read both of her books over and over again. Though, saying this, should Erin Morgenstern bring out a 400 page novel about washing dishes, I would no doubt read and love that too.

Anyway, back to The Night Circus. It is a whimsy tale, complete with vivid imagery, beautiful descriptions and wonderfully constructed scenes. I was mesmerised by the way magic is described in this book; everything written on the page truly comes to life. It was impossible not to tab all of my favourite moments, of which there are a lot, and I find myself flicking through them occasionally–though, I did go through and change all the coloured tabs to red tabs so they would match the book cover and black sprayed edges better!

As mentioned earlier, Erin Morgenstern could write about absolutely anything and I would be obsessed with it, so if this book had absolutely no plot, I don’t think I’d have enjoyed it any less. However, The Night Circus has an incredibly complex plot, weaving together storylines from different perspectives and different timelines. There are moments of tension, foreshadowing and hidden secrets, forbidden romances and a climax that made it impossible to put down. I was never confused by the jumping time periods and perspectives, which is a skill in itself, and I loved every narrative. I do have a few favourites though: Bailey, Poppet, and Celia.

The romance in this book is so beautiful. I am absolutely obsessed with Celia and Marcus’ relationship. It is so beautifully developed; slow, and then all at once. The gestures, the gifts they leave for each other–it is so cute. I love slow-burn romance. It’s the kind of relationship where you don’t even realise how much you love the characters and then all of a sudden you’re completely invested.

I think it’s fair to say I loved this book. I didn’t quite love it as much as The Starless Sea, but I didn’t really expect to–I don’t think anything even comes close. Obviously The Night Circus came out first, and the majority of people read it before The Starless Sea, and felt the reverse to me–I think it’s interesting to see how the order you read books in can affect your love for the others! Either way, I really want Erin Morgenstern to bring out another book. Yes, I know The Starless Sea only came out last year–and 8 years after the release of The Night Circus–but I don’t think I can wait that long. I need another already!


Have you read The Night Circus? Or The Starless Sea? Which did you prefer? Let me know your thoughts.

If you like Erin Morgenstern, you should definitely follow my bookstagram, which is at risk of becoming a fan account as I can’t seem to stop taking pictures of her books!

Follow me at: @thebookishlinguist

2 thoughts on “The Night Circus | Review

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