BY RACHEL AUSERE, OLIVIA SCOTT, WILL GALLANT, BRINA DONOVAN, LAUREN ALMEIDA, CARTER GAVIN, LILA HUNT & ELISSA UNDERKOFFLER
The Night Circus, a novel by Erin Morgenstern is an enticing story that mixes just the right amount of fantasy and realism, making it an excellent and compelling read.
This novel is about a mysterious circus that “arrives without warning” in different towns around the world. Filled with true magic and amazement, it only opens at night. However, the circus is being used for much more than the amusement of the public as it becomes the setting for a dramatic competition to the death between two young magicians named Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair. This competition becomes complicated as the two of them begin to fall in love with and their decisions begin to affect the circus in strange ways. They must eventually choose between the fate of the circus or the fate of themselves.
Erin Morgenstern’s purpose in writing this novel was certainly to entertain, but she also includes heavy themes and motifs which she weaves together to develop the concept of sacrifice with making your own destiny despite your circumstances. Some of the most significant sacrificial acts are in Celia and Marco’s attempt to save each other from death, as well as another character Bailey’s ultimate understanding of how “the future is never set in stone.” Through the experiences of these characters, readers learn that even the most seemingly inevitable things do not always have to happen, as long as you are willing to take matters into your own hands.
The Night Circus certainly qualifies as an entertaining read, and furthermore, Morgenstern opens readers’ eyes that you can create your own destiny, even if it seems like you have no choice. This book contains several characters who make great sacrifices for who or what they love, sacrifices that change the course of their lives. Because decisions in the real world are typically not so extreme, Morgenstern successfully gets her point across that if these characters can deal with the impossible, we can also make sacrifices and compromise to deal with the obstacles in our own lives.
Despite an ending that seems too cliche for such a unique story, everything else in the book is fantastic. The setting is absolutely stunning, created poetically with vivid imagery that draws the reader into its magical world. The writing style immerses the reader in the story and the well formed and interesting characters, especially Celia and Marco whose bond of love is so strong they are willing to sacrifice everything for each other.
At first glance, this book appears to be a typical fantasy story; however, because it contains many different layers, the elements Morgenstern includes work together to create a beautifully unique story of magic, love, mystery, and sacrifice. While it is heavily descriptive, there is never a dull moment; thus, it is a must-read for those with attention to detail and a love for complex plots.