The back of the book lied. The Night Circus promises a grand battle between two magicians. Instead it takes half of the book for the characters to realize just who they are competing against.
The Night Circus follows Marco and Celia, two magicians trained in distinctly different styles. Our two main characters are in a special competition and the playing field is Le Cirque des Rêves. Over the course of many years the two build fantastical displays and attractions at this carnival, neither one knowing exactly how to out perform the other. Celia and Marco lack dimension. They’re both characterized by their magic: Celia is impulsive, Marco is quiet and calculating.
The strongest aspect of this book is it’s grasp of descriptive language. The magical carnival of the novel blossoms in your mind, You can taste the sweets, hear the music and experience the wonder. Night Circus offers the reader a fantastical playground but fails to deliver on characters to play in it.
Night Circus is the type of novel for a specific reader. If you enjoy artistically in depth worlds then this book is for you. If you’re looking for an intense magical battle then pass this one up.
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
“I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held. Trying to control what cannot be controlled. I am tired of denying myself what I want for fear of breaking things I cannot fix. They will break no matter what we do.”
“But dreams have ways of turning into nightmares.”