I waited a long, long time for The Night Circus. The Cornish Library Service bought just one copy, I wasn’t as quick as I might have been spotting that it had finally gone into stock, and so I found myself at the end of a long, long queue.
I waited and waited.
Eventually arrived, and it was a book of such beauty.
It came wrapped in a striking cover, of black, white, and just a splash of red. Behind that cover I could see lovely red binding, and wonderful black edges to the pages. Inside was a red page-marker, and the layout, the presentation, was just right.
And the invitation was alluring:
“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…”
It pulled me into an extraordinary world ….
The plot is simple: rival magicians with very different ideas agree to a challenge. Each will train an apprentice in the art of magic, and those apprentices will be set against each other in the ultimate game. A game where there can only be one winner …
It is simple, but it is enough.
Because the game takes place in The Circus of Dreams – The Night Circus – with the two apprentices, Celia and Marco, not knowing the rules, the identity of their opponenent, or even that they are in a game at all.
In time they will realise.
And their duel will create more and more wonders for the circus.
The circus is extraordinary. Such wonders to see. Darkness and light. Dreams and reality. It is quite impossible to not be drawn in.
Such a rich imagination! Such powers of description!
An an extraordinary cast of characters. But they are characters, and no more. Players on a stage. I could watch and wonder, but the depth to match everything around them wasn’t there. I couldn’t see into their hearts and minds.
So sometimes the spectacle became too much. It was wonderful to watch and wonder, but I wanted something more that just wasn’t there.
But The Night Circus is still extraordinary …