The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Step right up and don’t push… you will all get a chance to enter.  The Night Circus is a mysterious Circus that opens only at night.  It comes with no warning, and leaves the same way… but if you are lucky enough to catch it you are in for the time of your life.  It is called Le Cirque des Rêves.

While attendees rave about the never-ending tents filled with amazing sights to see, what they do not see is the underlining workings of the circus.  Celia, who has been raised with the circus since a child is running the Night Circus as a competition that even she does not quite understand… her opponent… could be anyone, friend or foe… she is unsure…. all Celia does know is that she must continue to work bigger and better in this mysterious game as she will soon find out – the stakes are quite high.

(push play above for a little review theme music)

The Night Circus first came to my attention at BEA this past May during a dinner with bloggers and publishers.  The conversation at my end of the table was centered around a book, this book, that I had never heard of.   “…as big as Harry Potter,” fell on my ears and that was enough of a sell for me.  After all, have I not spent hours and hours of reading and looking for a book, a series, that has touched my life as much as Harry Potter and come up empty?

I searched the Book Expo the next day but the word was out… and all advanced copies of Night Circus were gone.  I left with a promise from the publisher that they would send me a copy and yes, a couple of weeks after the expo, a lovely black and white striped circus wrapped book arrived in my mailbox.  I did not remove the wrapping for the next several months… savoring the anticipation.

I started the book in print… while reading heard about Jim Dale narrating the audio version (Jim Dale also narrated the Harry Potter books) and purchased the audio version from to finish out the book.

First off know this… Celia is not the main character.  Nor are the twins that are talked about frequently throughout the story – Widget and Poppet.  No.  The main character is indeed the circus itself.  If ever life was breathed into a place, an object… this is it.  The circus lives and breathes just as much as I do as I write this review. 

The beauty of this book that I think could align it with the Potter books is the immense detail… carousels do not only go round and round… but beyond.  Tea pots come to a boil on cue and tea is poured free hand from them.  Celia wears a dress that changes color to compliment whatever the person she is talking to is wearing…a particular visual I loved were the trees that have poems running down the trunks.

At times story lines may appear unrelated…. but just wait as this is the real magic of the novel…. when it does come together there is a bit of magic to it all for the reader… I referred to it as a party for my mind. 

While the book at first may appear to be all cotton candy and caramel apples…. you will quickly discover it is indeed a tightrope walk of event after event… each carefully placed to make the circus function as it does and one misstep…

could bring it all down.

Did it touch me as much as the Harry Potter books?  No… but I have a lot of history with Harry.  I have heard the buzz that the Movie rights have been purchased and that does excite me as I believe this read would make a visual feast.  I will certainly be in line early to get my ticket. 


Leslie from Under My Apple Tree has two copies of this book to give away!

Amazon Rating

Good Reads Review

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map has been updated to include Night Circus

I received my print copy from the publisher

I purchased my audio copy from audible

61 thoughts on “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. I’ve had my wishful eye on this one for awhile…and the idea that a movie might come about is a treat, for sure. I love visualizing things through words, but even more, I love how movies bring the words to life.

    1. I had those moments too Marian – where I was catching up with the always changing scenes…. it is definitely one I want to read again to catch what I may have missed the first time around (something I usually only do with the Harry Potter books 😀 )

  2. I have to admit, the Harry Potter comparison does nothing for me, but as for the book itself – absolutely beautiful. I loved every moment of it and know it’s one I will reread multiple times in the future.

    1. It is very descriptive and I have seen that mentioned in the few reviews I have read so far on this one as well… it did not bother me…. just made me excited to see what they could do with this on film… it would have to be pretty fantastic to do it justice.

  3. I really must read this next! Unfortunately “next” may be a ways off as I am currently reading 6 books simultaneously due to a bout of book ADD.

  4. I didn’t know that the movie rights have been purchased! Now I want to play cast director and think of who to hire. I see Reese Witherspoon as Celia though I would prefer Brice Dallas Howard. 😉

  5. I have an e-arc of this from NetGalley but I haven’t read it yet. I’ve been kind of nervous about it since I don’t really like the circus but you make it sound really interesting with lots of creative descriptions. Very nice review. I didn’t listen to the music because I am at work at at library and they might frown on that 🙂

    1. Its funny as I talk about the description of the circus…. there really is not a lot of circus type discussion…. ugh, how to put this….. the book is centered around the circus but mainly the characters within it… not so much acts or animals…. if that makes sense….

      And hee hee…. the music was just to set the mood… 😉

  6. I felt the same way, that The Circus was the main character, which was not entirely a bad thing,.. The circus was brilliant. And while I really enjoyed the book I wish the characters would have been just a little more developed. Bailey was my favorite and he was a secondary character, but I felt he had some depth. And an important role.

    I’m giving away two copies of the book … open thru the weekend. Just in case anyone passing through here wants to enter my giveaway. 🙂

  7. I keep almost buying this one and then deciding to wait as I already have so much waiting to be read. Your review makes me want it even more though!

    1. I think Jill that this book will come out as one of the best of the year – through bookstores, blogs, and more…. I think what we are hearing now is only the tip so I would suggest read sooner than later so you can join in on the ride 😀

  8. I’m so glad you read and loved. What a lovely, intriguing review you give. I still have it on my shelf. I started it when I received it but then got tangled in other books. Can’t wait to go back to it now. 🙂

  9. I’ve been thinking about adding this novel to my TBR platter of books and your review has only enticed me to read this this novel. Thanks so much for a great review.


  10. I’m glad you liked this one so much but I just couldn’t let the magic of it overtake me so much. I totally agree with you thought that as a movie it would be awesome.

  11. I think I’m going to wait a while to read this one. I just think with all the buzz and hype my expectations may be to high at this point.

  12. There was so much hype around this book and I don’t know if it totally lived up to it, but there is a lot of awesome and heartwarming magic in here. It’s the kind of book that you keep thinking about long after finishing it. Thanks for the review! (Makes me want to write one too now.)

  13. I agree that while NO book can ever fill your heart and soul like HP (I had a 13 year old in awe of my love for HP This evening, and she didn’t know the half of it…so I get it.) THE NIGHT CIRCUS is something really special. I hold my breath whenever I read a review for it, as if I’m waiting to see if I’m about to find another reveur. Don the red scarf, Sheila, I’m s glad you loved it as much as I did!

    I am interested to hear more about the audio…

  14. I keep hearing such amazing things about this book! It does sound rather odd, but many of the best books do. I can’t wait to read it myself! Thanks for the review –


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