My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
My Summary: Celia and Marco have been trained in the magical arts since they were children. Told only that they will have to face a powerful opponent one day, each is taught using a different school of thought: Celia's a crude course designed by her father, and Marco's a more study-based curriculum. After being pitted against one another for years, the two begin to fall in love - a love that cannot possibly last, since the object of the game is to be the last one standing.
My Thoughts: I adored this novel. It had everything I love in a book mashed together and wrapped in black, white, and silver. The mystery and suspense kept my eyes glued to the pages and kept me from thinking about anything else but the book when I wasn't reading - I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.
The author's writing was amazing: I'm a huge fan of intertwining story-lines, and Morgenstern pulls it off beautifully. The characters were great as well - they feel like real people that you can't help but feel bad for. What I really, really loved about this novel, though, was the way that the circus itself felt like a character (for those of you who've read Incarceron and Sapphique, you know what I mean by that). Reading this novel was an amazing experience, and I know I'll definitely be re-reading this one soon.
Final Thoughts: If you haven't checked out The Night Circus yet, you're missing out. I recommend it for readers 16 and up - especially if you liked Water for Elephants.