The Night Circus Effect

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

About the Book:

A novel of magic and love that has enchanted readers far and wide with the spectacular power of its imagination.

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, reads:

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.

My Thoughts:

Astonishingly clever, imaginative, puzzling, and alluring. Everything within this novel was unexpected, one of those stories where every single thing happens for a reason; where no stone is left unturned, no threads left dangling in the wind. It is a magical love story like no other. A story of friendship, loyalty, sharp wits and high stakes. Skilfully written with a brilliant cast of characters, The Night Circus is hauntingly beautiful and completely unforgettable.

Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and magical realism.


Buddy Read Reflections:

The Night Circus is the latest title to be read as a buddy read with members of my Page by Page Book Club over at Facebook. Before we had even finished, we were loving this novel so much that we all voted to read the author’s latest release, The Starless Sky, for our next buddy read, to begin on May 16th. If you’d like to join us, head over to the Page by Page Facebook group to be added. You’ll find out all of the details about the buddy read once you’re there.

We had a great time looking over and discussing the many, many covers that exist around the world for this book. There are some truly brilliant cover artists out there. I’ve only got three pictured here: the one that graces my ebook, my little Vintage Magic paperback edition, and the newly released Penguin hardback.

As is my way with books read for a buddy read, I have a collection of favourite quotes to share. If you’ve never read The Night Circus, I hope they lure you in. If you have read it, then I hope these take you back to the magic of The Night Circus, and possibly make you want to read it all over again.


“Just a moment,” Celia says. She lifts her hand in a delicate gesture at the raven. In response it caws again and spreads its large wings, taking flight and swooping toward the stage, gaining speed as it approaches. Descending quickly it dives, flying directly at Celia and not wavering or slowing as it reaches the stage, but approaching at full speed. Chandresh jumps back with a start, almost falling over Marco as the raven crashes into Celia in a flurry of feathers.
And then it is gone. Not a single feather remains and Celia is once again wearing a puffed-sleeve black jacket, already buttoned over her black and white gown.


“Is this how the challenge is going to proceed?” Marco asks. “Each of us manipulating the circus? How long will it go on?”
“You have been given a venue to work within,” his instructor says. “You present your skills to the best of your ability and your opponent does the same. You do not interfere with each other’s work. It shall continue in this manner until there is a victor. It is not that complex.”


“Do you remember all of your audiences?” Marco asks.
“Not all of them,” Celia says. “But I remember the people who look at me the way you do.”
“What way might that be?”
“As though they cannot decide if they are afraid of me or they want to kiss me.”
“I am not afraid of you,” Marco says.


Without the concern for the effect she might be having on the surroundings, she is able to relax into the sensation instead of resisting it. It is exquisite. It is the way she has felt in so many of his tents, the thrill of being surrounded by something wondrous and fantastical, only magnified and focused directly on her. The feel of his skin against hers reverberates across her entire body, though his fingers remain entwined in hers. She looks up at him, caught in the haunting greenish-grey of his eyes again, and she does not turn away.


The circus itself, all for her. For every beautiful tent he creates, she builds one in return.


Memories begin to creep forward from hidden corners of your mind. Passing disappointments. Lost chances and lost causes. Heartbreaks and pain and desolate, horrible loneliness.
Sorrows you thought long forgotten mingle with still-fresh wounds.
The stone feels heavier in your hand.
When you drop it in the pool to join the rest of the stones, you feel lighter. As though you have released something more than a smooth polished piece of rock.


“This is the game, isn’t it?” Celia asks. “It’s about how we deal with the repercussions of magic when placed in a public venue, in a world that does not believe in such things. It’s a test of stamina and control, not skill.”


“They were always, at the heart, challenges of chaos and control to see which technique was strongest. It is one thing to put two competitors alone in a ring and wait for one to hit the ground. It is another to see how they fare when there are other factors in the ring along with them. When there are repercussions with every action taken.”


About the Author:

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a bestseller that has been sold around the world and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in Theatre from Smith College, an ever-growing collection of jewellery made from skeleton keys, and a cat on her lap. She lives in Massachusetts.

The Night Circus
Published by Penguin Random House Australia
First released 2011

Book 1 of The Isolation Lucky Dip Reading List

18 thoughts on “The Night Circus Effect

  1. I loved this book so much! To the point that I am a little apprehensive about reading her next book because how can it ever live up to The Night Circus, especially seeing as it took so long to be published after her initial success.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not read The Night Circus (am I the only one in the whole world? haha) but I did read The Starless Sea last year and, from what I can tell (with the extract here and other reviews), it’s got a very similar “vibe”, so I’m sure the reading buddies will love it! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review, your enthusiasm for The Night Circus definitely shines through! I’m really looking forward to The Starless Sea buddy read. If I love it as much as I hope to, I’ll no doubt have to go back and add The Night Circus to my TBR 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, I share your enthusiasm for the setting and the circus, it really was incredibly imaginative and enthralling. I personally didn’t care for the main characters love story, but to each their own. Excellent review, I really enjoyed reading a different perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jonathan. It’s a truly rare story I feel, imaginative and unique. And there’s something to be said about a story that contains so much, that where in your case, you weren’t fussed on the love story but can still be enthusiastic about the book overall. I guess it’s one of those books that can offer many things, depending on the reader and what you bring to the reading experience. I lent it recently to a friend and her enthusiasm has reminded me all over again how much I loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

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