This is a magical book about magical people and highly unlikely events. As the title suggests, the protagonists create a circus based on magic. The inhabitants are magical creatures performing tricks that the ‘normal people’ believe are extraordinary and in fact are magically real.
The clever conceit behind the story is that two young people have been chosen for their roles as apprentices to two mysterious and malevolent magicians. They undergo rigorous training in order to enter a magical battle which only one of them can win. Unfortunately, they also fall in love with each other which presents them with the conundrum, how can they ensure that they both survive and their love survives the battle created by their masters? The answer is The Night Circus which evolves and changes and adapts as the apprentices (now applauded and supported by the readers).
It’s an engaging and wonderful read. As a fan of magical realism I was captivated by the characters and their various skills and abilities although the protagonists eventual solution to the problem of defeating their unconquerable masters, who until that time had never been defeated, was a bit too surreal even for me.
The cast of characters, including a magical clock, a disappearing man and a wonderful tent of shapes and sounds and smells, was a wonderful world, one which I did not want to disappear or end. Cleverly, the book includes an ardent team of Night Circus supporters, a team which every reader will probably support and want to join.