I could say a lot about this book. How the summary on the inside initially caught my attention but that the book ended up being much more than that.
I could say that this cast of characters was probably the best cast I’ve read in a long time. They were developed, interesting, lovable, and worked so fluidly together you wouldn’t think it possible that only one person came up with the whole thing.
I could say that the writing in this was stellar, and even if the story wasn’t interesting (it was) Morgenstern knows just when to cut off one storyline only to start another one just as interesting and just as eager to be read. There are some books where you get to a point that it’s time to put the story down, live a life, and then you can pick it up again. I couldn’t find a point where this book allowed you to live a life. It begged to be read in it’s entirety.
But what I really want to talk about are the characters–Celia and Marco. Two magicians who have to battle each other to the death. So, of course, they fall in love with each other instead.
It’s been a reeeeally long time since I read an adult book that had characters so intriguing as these. And there were times when the tension between them seeped off the page only to inhabit my very being. And times when the love they felt for each other was so palpable it filled the air around me and was too thick for me to breathe in.
What I’ve found with adult books is that authors tend to write about whatever relationship they’re currently in. You’ve got those that are bitterly married or bitterly divorced, and their books are fraught with adulterous spouses or a character’s lust after someone or something. You’ve got those that are happily married that their books end up being so predictably happy and easy to read you wonder if this person has experienced anything but cliches in their life. You’ve got those whose relationship statuses change so frequently you have no idea where they are, and their books end up portraying their own search for someone to spend the rest of their lives with. And then you have those who pine after their first love, teenage love, so hard that they can’t think of anything else. This is where YA literature comes in.
It may be predictable that these two young magicians fall in love, and I thought that’s what the book would be about. While the storyline largely centers around this relationship, I have a very hard time calling it a “love story” or even a “love storyline.” The entire Night Circus is dependent on these two, but the depth that’s alive in their childhood, adolescence, and adulthood is moving and a bit disturbing. They aren’t just in love with each other. One can’t exist without the other. Which makes battling to the death the hardest and worst possible thing that could be asked of them.
I’m not going to go on, because my paltry writing will not do justice to the book or characters. All you should know is that you need to drop everything now and go get this book. Just make sure you’ve got sufficient time to devote to it.