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.
Fair warning right now: this book is not for everyone.
I bought and read this book the day it was release because the synopsis alone had me, let alone the gorgeous cover that comes with it. The problem was I felt the synopsis lied to me and lead me astray from what actually happened, or rather what didn’t happen, in the book and that’s unfortunate because the potential for such an amazing story was there but it just never delivered. What I did enjoy about this book had more to do with Morgenstern’s incredible job describing the wonder and magic of Le Cirque des Rêves rather than the story itself. The story is slow, and there is a lot less love and rivalry than promised but the imagination and creativity is what kept me hanging in there. For the gorgeous visual that this book inspires, I would round this up. but the story lacked depth so 3.5 stars it is.
There is so much potential here that it hurts to see such a wonderfully magical story fall flat in the execution but for those who love the mystery and magic of the circus, this is a poignant book made for those who don’t mind taking it slow to enjoy the visual feast.
*For those who are interested, Goodreads is hosting a Live Video Chat with Erin Morgenstern on July 30th 2012.
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a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.