Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Published: 15th September 2011
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical fiction
Synopsis from Goodreads
In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.
Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs – the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love…
From the rating on Goodreads I had high expectations for this book, the synopsis was so intriguing it was a must read! I love magicians and circus’ (though I have actually never been to one)
The story was told in a third person narrative, it is very descriptive from the tents, the lavish dinners, magic and illusions that are performed. There are two young magicians, they are told that they’re in training for a competition, but not told who their opponents are or even when it begins.
Celia is the daughter of the legendary Prospero the enchanter, at 6 years old her after her mother’s death she is left to her fathers devices and signs her up for competition, She is then practicing constantly to become the best Magician possible.
Marco is the protegé of Mr A.H-, Marco was plucked from an orphanage one day after completing some menial tasks and was sent to live and study magic, he too was also informed that he would be in a competition but the details were very vague.
There are other characters in this book that all relate to the circus and intertwine with Celia and Marco’s story, however I don’t want to give too much away.
The descriptive writing in this book was wonderful I felt that I was at the circus, watching the illusionist,contortionists and acrobats, the tents, the magical clock, I could go on, however I felt this took a lot away from any character development and plot. There is not much of a plot to this book and each chapter goes back and forth, which felt it a bit disjointed
The romance in this book was tiresome, it didn’t feel real, there was no spark, I felt no emotion in the writing and it was a bit instalovey, as soon as they knew they were opponents there was this sudden love for one another.
I did enjoy the book and the writing but I didn’t love it, I think it has been overhyped a little.
Overall I rated this book 3.5 stars out 5