I’ve just re-read The Night Cicrus, and even knowing what would happen I just couldn’t put this down. It was fascinating, capivating, mysterious and funny.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply
there, when yesterday it was not.
The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates,
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn
As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights
begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in
particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against
the night sky, the sign appears.
Le Cirque des Rêves
The Circus of Dreams.
Now the circus is open.
Now you may enter.
It’s escapist, it’s fantasy, it’s dreamlike, but the luscious descriptions of the character, textures and feeling through the book almost make you yearn for the Circus to exist. Two magicians are training apprentices, and have set the circus as a playing field for the apprentices, in a duel that, unknown to the duellists is one to the death.
There are wonderful characters; Celia and Marco the apprentices, Alexander and Hector the magicians, with a second storyline of Bailey, Poppet and Widget; characters who live within the circus, and in Baileys case escape to the circus. I can’t believe this is a debut novel – the tapestry is just so rich.
I’d also like a dancing kitten, just sayin’.
These are characters, and they are also performers playing a part and the show must go on. The tiny chapters with differing points of view and times, unusually, didn’t annoy, but seemed to keep the impetus going – you wanted to keep turning the pages, if only to find the next circus creation.
Definately for the younger (Twilight/Harry Potter) generation who like fantasy and to escape reading, but also I feel for those that aren’t big readers. There is meant to be a movie coming out, and I really really hope they pull out all the stops.
I’ve just introduced this to my reading club to mixed reviews – it’s funny how different books strike unusual chords with you. I’m loving it though, because book clubs make you re-think what’s going on.
Writers have so many options on how to structure their stories, and I wonder if maybe the wispy plotline was intentional to almost reflect the hazy, incomplete contest between the competing magicians – a byproduct of the indistinct world that the story is set in, contrasted with the pops into the reality of the Victorian world. I suspect the Circus being Black & White was the same, as it was but a stage to show off the magic and imagination of the rest. I’m really curious about the Prospero etc. links in the story and would like to investigate further.
Get this. Beg, steal or borrow it if you haven’t read it.
Did you ever want to runaway to the circus as a child?
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