Diving Into The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: A Book Review


Lizzy Khater

Math teacher Ms. Howely holding The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Lizzy Khater, Senior Staff Writer

Imagine yourself walking along a winding path. It’s dark, of course, for the circus would never open prior to sunset. Small lights float on either side, illuminating the ground ahead. You are being led through what seems like hundreds of tents, all encapsulated by a larger, much grander one, that reaches high into the heavens. Each tent is striped with black and white, the colors stark. The air smells of caramel apples and hot chocolate. You hear laughter, muffled conversations, and the clapping of crowds. Occasionally, you catch a glimpse of a bright scarlet scarf. The sign of the rêveurs.


No one knows where the circus came from. One night there was only a vast empty field. The next morning, Le Cirque des Rêves has arrived. The tip of its highest tent piercing the sky. As you continue walking, thoughts of wonder begin to consume your mind, and you can only think of what tent to enter first. 


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a beautifully written novel set in the late 19th Century. It follows the two main characters, Celia and Marco, as well as a multitude of other interesting and mysterious people, whose fates are all tied to the circus. 


Ever since they were young, Celia and Marco’s fates were bound together. They were each instructed by their own mentors to win the game. They were never told what the game is, or how it goes, but they were trained nonetheless. They studied all their lives in the different ways of magic to learn how to manipulate reality, and no one ever had so much as a clue. 


Surely, the time comes to begin the game, and without warning, their lives soon intertwine with the fate of the circus, and all those within it. The circus then begins. It grows and it flourishes. It travels all over the world. No warning or message, the circus just appears and then it vanishes without a trace. And the game goes on. Fates twining around one another until lives knot together almost permanently. Almost. 


Erin Morgenstern portrays this story in the most magical and fascinating way. For many avid readers as well as for those who might be new to reading, I find this book very intriguing. The beautiful and descriptive writing style pulls people into the story, making it feel as though you are one of the characters, exploring the circus and playing the game. 


This is a very significant aspect that many people love about reading. Math teacher Mrs. Katie Morrow, a reader herself, agrees with this. Although she has not read this book, after a short summary, she shared her thoughts about what draws her to consider picking up this type of story. 


“I just like being part of a story and seeing where it goes. Part of it is the mystery of the characters. What’s gonna happen to them? How are they going to change? I love watching the progression of a character and what they learn,” Mrs. Morrow said.  


Math teacher Ms. Megan Howley also enjoys reading. One day, she saw me reading The Night Circus in the hall, and approached me to talk about it. She said she was just thinking about buying it earlier that morning, and was eager to get my opinion about it once I am finished. Later on, I got to share my thoughts, and asked her what intrigued her about the book that day. 


“The cover drew me in at first. I am more into magical types of books, but I didn’t want to read it yet before I found a review.” Ms. Howely said. 


In addition, the magic system the author creates is exceptionally unique. I have never read a book similar to this since the author finds a way to add magic to the story but keep the realistic aspects of life as well. Therefore making it perfect for those who do not love high fantasy books. 


However, the author also seems to let us, the readers, figure out the magic system and plot for ourselves, which leaves an air of mystery throughout most of the book. Therefore, it did progress a little slowly, which could cause some people to put it down. I did so myself for a while before I decided to continue reading it once more. 


For this reason, I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars. The author has a wonderful and immersive writing style that pulls readers into the very fabric of the story and the characters’ world, despite the slow beginning. Furthermore, the distinct magical system that is at work alongside the realistic factors of life throughout the plot, distinguishes it from other fantasy books. 


A picture of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.