Release Date: Already out
Publisher: Random House / Vintage Books
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Buy it: Random House AU | Amazon | Book Depository
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.
In the most simplest of explanations; this is a story of how a magical circus came to be and the deadly game that inspired it. But you soon discover it is so, so much more than that. It is not just a love story or a few magical tents to marvel at. It is not just the unfair competition Celia and Marco have been trained for their whole life, bound together at childhood. It's all of these and more, wound together to form something more breathtaking and complex than I first imagined. And it is nothing that I can adequately describe or give justice to in these few paragraphs.
While we're given multiple perspectives than span across a thirty year period, Celia and Marco are more the main characters. The two at the heart and soul of this tale. Unwilling competitors, but with no choice in the matter, they partake in a game unaware of the rules or what will determine a winner. The circus acts as their venue - though it becomes more tangled in their game than they initially realised - where each must continually make their move, constructing pieces of magic and art more breathtaking than the last. But this act has an air intimacy to it, as each revel in the other's creations, taking joy in their next awe-inspiring discovery of one another. It really is quite a beautiful thing - a subtle, yet powerful connection forms between the two of them without them even physically touching. Though I became invested in their romance, Marco did leave a sour taste in my mouth over Isobel. I felt she deserved much better treatment.
I was most taken by Bailey and the Morgan twins. I connected with Bailey the most, I understood his enrapture with the circus and admired his personality. He first encountered the circus when he was a small boy; and on something as simple as a dare, he shared a brief encounter with a pretty red-headed girl who would stay in his heart for years to come. It wasn't until he was 16, facing a difficult decision and longing to escape the restrictions of his life, did the circus return and he saw that shock of red hair once again. It was a sweet and heartwarming bond that formed between him and the twins, and Bailey himself proved to be an extraordinarily vital element to the story.
The night circus itself is a character, perhaps the most important and breathtaking of all (and for the first time, a circus that this animal-loving vegan wholeheartedly approves of). Morgenstern submerges you into this otherworldly and mysterious event, bringing to life each magical tent with a new and delightfully unexpected surprise hiding within each. She plays on your every sense, drawing you in so completely to the story that you can almost taste the caramel on the apples, feel the heat of the ever-blazing bonfire, the dazzling white chill of the Ice Garden or you find yourself secretly long to drop a stone in the Pool of Tears. You're right there alongside every other wide-eyed spectator, overwhelmed and unsure what to see first, where to go next; wanting to absorb it all in at once, but willing yourself to take it slow so you can savour every moment.
The circus may appear black and white to the untrained eye, but as you explore deeper into it's heart, nothing is as simple or easily defined. Each character is fleshed out in an array of murky and colourful shades. Morgenstern build a history, a foundation for these characters, tangling their lives together quietly, often without you fully understanding how they will cross paths later. She builds and builds and builds, subtly forcing you to care. Nobody is of little significance. Everyone plays a role, everyone is affected by the magic at play, for better or worse. It's a slow moving tale, but where every word is an important element to the finished masterpiece.
The Night Circus is an experience. A magical, romantic, dark and glittering experience, astounding in it's imagination. The story grows darker and more complex as cracks begin to show, and the game between Celia and Marco becomes clearer and more dangerous. But by the end, just as Bailey, Herr Thiessen and the many reveurs of the circus, you'll be wishing desperately to see the black and white striped tent greet you the next time you leave the house.
4.5/5 Golden Apples!
To celebrate the release of THE NIGHT CIRCUS in paperback, the beautiful team at Vintage Books are hosting an 11 day blog tour to share this captivating novel with you all. Thanks to them I have TWO Night Circus party prize packs to giveaway, which are sure to spell a magical night for you and your friends!
Each pack includes:
A paperback copy of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, reading guide, author interview, balloons, sweets and a Night Circus themed recipe!
Simply fill out the form below and answer the following question in the comment section of this post (extra entries can be gained for advertising):
What would you find inside your own magical tent?
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
Open to UK and Commonwealth (full list of countries eligible can be found HERE)
Giveaway ends Monday June 4th 2012
Let your imagination go wild with your tent! Anything you could possibly dream - from the mundane to the impossible, whatever your heart desires. Personally, I'd like mine to recreate the walls of Hogwarts ;) Though I would love to visit the Bedtime Stories tent in the book, which features jars and bottles of all different sizes, each holding the essence of a memory that plays on your senses so deeply, you feel as if you're experiencing it in that very moment. It's truly amazing, which you'll see when you read for yourself!
If you'd like an idea of the other kinds of tents to help inspire your own, check out the extracts released so far at: Book Passion For Life, Daisy Chain Book reviews, Wondrous Reads, Book Chick City
Be sure to check out the next fantastic stops on the tour!