A fantasy novel by Erin Morgenstern
The concept of a “Night Circus” really fascinated me and it was my favorite part of the book, even more than the plot. The descriptions of the circus and all of the settings are beautiful, the prose flows smoothly, and the magic is enthralling.
The characters were not fully formed. There was one character (Bailey) that I felt had a full arc and actually developed as the story went on. The other main characters remained static and were actually rather boring. The love story woven into the plot seemed forced and unnecessary and I didn’t think the book required it at all. Also, the rules of magic and the rules of the “game” that the two characters (Marco and Celia”) played were extremely unclear. Everything was kept very vague, but not in a good, mysterious way. It was more in a: “What’s going on?” kind of way. The book had a lot of potential. There were so many ways that the plot could have gone and there could have been a really solid group of characters…but it didn’t happen.
Here is my favorite quote from the book (the characters, despite being under-developed, said some very profound things)
“Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are.”