Book Review Date: October 4th, 2019
Written By: Erin Morganstern
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 Réves, 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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Amidst the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.
I held off on reading this one for a long time. Despite hearing that it was fantastic. Despite knowing that it was fantasy, which I generally love. The honest truth for why that is: the “circus” theme. I have no idea what my issue is with this theme, but every time, I am resistant. I expect it to not be good. The weird part? Every single book I have read that has something to do with a circus, I have loved. And this one is no different. It’s utterly bizarre that I still react this way to this specific theme. I guarantee you, it won’t be the last time, either. But at least the reasonable part of my brain can give a longer list of examples for why that weird part of my brain is wrong when I come up against the next one and resist. And this is probably my favorite example now. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was so into this. I love when stories set up a romance that is just thwarted over and over by itself or comes into danger from an outside source. It’s my favorite kind of romance. And I don’t like much romance, so for me to be talking so positively about it here means it was really well done. I was so invested in these characters and found myself trying to work out ways for them to win and survive as I read. Also another sign of something well done. I’m actively participating in working out the plot? Yeah, you got me hooked.
The circus arrives without warning.
- The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.
- People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.
- Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it’s really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.
- 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.