Erin Morgenstern

The night circus


This book review contains spoilers!

General Information

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Series: Standalone

Audience: YA



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.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

– goodreads

Plot / Storyline

The plot is really hard to describe for me. There happens A LOT. The big line of this story is definitely the circus. We find out how it’s created and how it’s improved over and over again. We read what happens behind the scenes and how a visitor experiences the night circus. We also find out what Celia’s challenge exactly is.

Writing Style

Erin’s writing style is very diverse but that didn’t bother me at all while I was reading the book. There are many POV (point of view) switches in the book and one of them is a YOU point of view that’s included in the book now and then. We also have Bailey, Celia, Mr Barris, Marco and Friedrick as our narrators. It can be useful to keep in mind that the night circus is the main character in this story instead of a person. We are following people that all have their connection to the circus. This makes the book slow in the beginning because we first need an explanation of how the circus was created. The book will pick up its pace once we’re past that point.


The night circus

Technically the circus isn’t a character but it really is the main focus of the book so I thought that it was worth mentioning it. The night circus appears out of nowhere and leaves without a trace. It travels everywhere and it’s always a surprise when and where the circus will appear.



She’s one of the first character we meet and she will play a big role in this whole story. She is the daughter of Prosphero the illusionist and learns how to be an illusionist like him. We see her grow up in this story and see how she will become more independent.



Marco was raised in an orphanage until he’s adopted by Alexander because of a challenge. We will see him grow up during the story and find out how he will be involved with the circus.



Bailey lives on a farm but he isn’t happy with the life that his parents wants for him. The boy is very interested in the night circus and will visit the circus one day.



Friedrick is the clockmaker for the circus and falls in love with the circus. He will often go to the circus, no matter where it is. His POV was very enjoyable for me because you see the circus through the eyes of an outsider.


Mr. Barris

Surprisingly I can’t remember that much about this character. He’s deeply involved with creating the circus and helping it grow but there isn’t much more that i can remember about him.


Is there romance in this book? Yes there is but it isn’t the main focus at all. It happens quite late in the book. There are multiple romances happening in this book but I don’t really think that they’re the most important thing in this story. It actually makes the story more complex.

What I liked / hated the most

What I liked the most about this book is the magical feeling that comes with it. It feels realistic and unrealistic at the same time. It made me feel like I was there and I wish that the circus was real. I would love to visit it one day.


I didn’t really know what expect of this book when I started it. I was wondering if it was somehow a bit similar to Caraval by Stephanie Garber but I definetly didn’t experience it at all. With Caraval you don’t know what’s going on while it’s quite clear in the night circus.


I’m really happy that I decided to pick up this book because I was immediately sucked into it. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I recommend it to everyone. It’s magical, it has a love story in it but that isn’t really the focus. It’s about personal development but it’s also a magical experience. My compliments to Erin.


The end of this story feels open and closed. We can use our own imagination to make the ending of this amazing story.

FantasyYoung Adult

FantasyThe night circusYA

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