The Night Circus

In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story.

The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway - a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Reviews

A Globe and Mail Best Book

“A book that stops you in your tracks, a book [that]… tears you open and leaves you gasping…. A book that makes the hair on your arms stand on end, and that has you picking up the phone or sending a text to tell everyone you know, ‘You have to read this.’… One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again…. The Night Circus welcomes all visitors.”
The Globe and Mail

“It’s a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits.”
National Post

“Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing. Morgenstern - in much the same way as her cast of magicians and performers might - builds a fantastic creation out of words and spells and ink and paper and the power of imagination. And like her colorful characters, she’s not dealing in illusions and sleight of hand. This is real magic.”
The Seattle Times

“So should you read Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus? The short answer: Yes. The book is engaging and magical, entrancing the reader every step of the way.”
The Huffington Post

“…deliciously inventive…”
The Scotsman

“Read The Night Circus and be mystified, finish it, as breathless as an aerialist, and you’ll want to start again… you won’t want to miss this amazing book.”
The Missourian

“With a showman’s flourish in an opening paragraph, author Morgenstern invites readers into a mesmerizing 19th-century world where everything and nothing is real, and even the characters don’t know the difference. There are shivers here, as well as a story of betrayal, mistrust, love and horrifying secrets. I was captivated by this darkly stunning debut novel from an author who bears watching, and there’s no way you should miss it, either. So step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and be amazed at what you’ll find between these fiendish covers. For you, The Night Circus conjures a most excellent read.”
Appeal-Democrat

“Morgenstern manages to conjure up a love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic. When Celia calls their circus a ‘wonder and comfort and mystery all together,’ she could have been talking about this book.”
The Washington Post

“…dark and extravagantly imagined… the author entices her audience and rewards its members with captivating pleasure… when this Circus leaves town, it trails a sense of smiling wonder in its wake.”
People Magazine

The Night Circus is quietly, enchantingly perfect. …reading this novel is like having a marvelous dream, in which you are asleep enough to believe everything that is happening, but awake enough to relish the experience and understand that it is magical. Morgenstern is an artist as well as a writer, and her novel is lusciously visual. Every scene is like a medieval painting, saturated with color and detail; each realistic facet only enhances the mystical strangeness of the whole.
Newsday

“Morgenstern’s novel feels crafted from the fabric of a dream, and the circus itself never fails to astound. For me, the only real disappointment was that I couldn’t buy a ticket.”
Christian Science Monitor

“Prepare to be entranced by Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus.”
USA Today

“Startlingly inventive, haunting, and definitely strange, it’s part love story, part fable, and a knockout debut… Morgenstern’s book is so sparklingly alive, you swear the pages are breathing in your hands.”
The Boston Globe

“Enchanting… Move over, Twilight!”
Chatelaine

The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book.”
—Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife

“Every once in awhile you find a novel so magical that there is no escaping its spell. The Night Circus is one of these rarities - engrossing, beautifully written and utterly enchanting. If you choose to read just one novel this year, this is it.”
— Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology

“A riveting debut. The Night Circuspulls you into a world as dark as it is dazzling, fully-realized but still something out of a dream. You will not want to leave it.”
— Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

“Pure pleasure… Erin Morgenstern is a gifted, classic storyteller, a tale-teller, a spinner of the charmed and mesmerizing - I had many other things I was supposed to be doing, but the book kept drawing me back in and I tore through it. You can be certain this riveting debut will create a group of rêveurs all its own.”
—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“ ‘Dark as soot and bright as sparks,’ The Night Circus still holds me willingly captive in a world of almost unbearable beauty. This is a love story on a grand scale: it creates, it destroys, it ultimately transcends. Take a bow, Erin Morgenstern. This is one of the best books I have ever read.”
— Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader

The Night Circus is a gorgeously imagined fable poised in the high latitudes of Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde, with a few degrees toward Hesse’s ‘Steppenwolf’ for dangerous spice. The tale is masterfully written and invites allegorical interpretations even as its leisurely but persistent suspense gives it compelling charm. An enchanting read.”
— Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

“Self-assured, entertaining debut novel that blends genres and crosses continents in quest of magic… Generous in its vision and fun to read. Likely to be a big book - and, soon, a big movie, with all the franchise trimmings.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Debut author Morgenstern doesn’t miss a beat in this smashing tale of greed, fate, and love set in a turn of the 20th-century circus… a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut.”
Publishers Weekly