Monday, September 19, 2011

The Night Circus

I just realized I have over a thousand posts now on this blog. I started it shortly after I got married, so this November will be my six-year blogging anniversary. It might be time to start thinking about a contest.

Anyway, I normally don't do a lot of book promotion on this blog, but over the weekend I read a book I really enjoyed, so I wanted to tell you about it. It's called The Night Circus. Set in the late 19th century, the book is about a pair of young magicians bound by their teachers into a contest where only one can win. What's unusual about this contest is that it takes place within a circus. Not just any circus, but one that appears overnight without warning. It opens at sunset and closes at dawn. In the meantime, it offers delectable treats and incomparable performers, all in the black-and-white scheme of the circus. (Even fire burns white here.) Instead of one big tent, the acts perform in many small tents, each with mysterious signs. There is a cloud maze, a pool of tears, a wishing tree, a carousel with magical animals, a fortune teller, and many other wonders. The circus is so extraordinary that it attracts fans who follow it from city to city, like Deadheads of another century.

Although I read science fiction and fantasy for their sense of wonder, often times the magic or science-fictional aspect of the story feels ordinary. In this book, the magic of the night circus becomes something many characters yearn for, something with a life of its own. I hope that if you read this book, you feel the magic too, the way I did when I read it.


Briane P said...

The Entertainment Weekly review made it sound like a YA version of "The Prestige." Is it YA?

Your review makes me want to read it more.

If you liked the magic you should check out "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman. The book is really very good, despite a somewhat-let-down kind of ending. I understand there's a sequel out there.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

It's not YA, Briane. Although the book starts when the two competitors are children, they're full-grown at the end. There are also adult POVs included.

I have a sample of "The Magicians" on my Kindle, but I haven't gotten to it yet. So many books, so little time....

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