In The Night Circus Morgenstern has crafted a wondrous tale of dysfunctional families, manipulative caretakers, impossible love, and the many facets of friendships. If, like me, you’ve been reluctant to read The Night Circus for fear it can’t possibly live up to its hype, fear not. It’s all that you’ve heard . . . and more.
In a battle falling somewhere between cockfighting and afternoon tea, two crotchety old magicians engage their apprentices in a fight to the death. Unfortunately, the apprentice magicians don’t know what their challenge is, who their opponent is, or when the battle will end. Choosing a public venue (where traditionally the two opponents dueled in absence of others), the contestants must constantly skate the fine line between what’s real and what’s not, all while not understanding the ultimate goal. As the magicians and their friends’ lives become intertwined, both mentor and apprentice realize there will be unintended consequences and, ultimately, no one can win.
Take away the magic and Morgenstern has written a novel rich in the complexities of human relationships. Leave the magic be and Morgenstern has written a magical novel rich in the complexities of human relationships.