The funny thing about this book is I discovered it for the first time with an iPhone app freebie from Starbucks ( the type they give out in the little stands by the cream and sugar). I disregarded it at first, because this was back in November and at the time I hadn't yet absorbed the idea of reading books on my iPhone (which definitely has changed now).
Last week I went to the library and in the new fiction section I came across that very same book. I picked it up remembering my first encounter with the book and was immediately captivated. Erin Morgenstern uses second person to introduce you to the circus as if you stepped in line to buy tickets and are waiting out front.
Then, you are transported into the lives of Celia and Marco and both have a troubling start in life. Celia gets dropped off at her father's, deemed evil by her mother, and her father discovers her aptitude for magic. Marco lives in an orphan home and one day a man in a grey suit adopts him. The man forces him to study and soon Marco accepts the life of a magician.
But both Marco and Celia are bonded in some way.
To a mysterious competition that threatens the lives of everyone involved. The circus is the venue and everyone's invited. It shows up out of nowhere with only evening hours available.
And there can only be one winner.
This is another book where the fantasy, the romance, and the magic draw you in and never let you go. This is an atmospheric book where I could smell the popcorn, see the magical tents, and feel the tension in the room with Celia and Marco's crackling chemistry. I love books that take me away and this one did.
My only complaint in this book is that it did jump around year to year. One chapter is 1899 and the next chapter is 1905. It adds to the tension as information of the competition and what it means is fed by little by little. But it added complication at times that I wasn't certain was necessary.
One last thing - I had to share a few quotes that I discovered at the end and I love collecting really good quotes from a book.
I find I think of myself not as a writer so much as someone who provides a gateway, a tangential route for readers to reach the circus. To visit the circus again, if only in their minds, when they are unable to attend to I physically. I relay it through printed words that they can read again and again, returning to the circus whenever they wish, regardless of time of day or physical location. Transporting them at will.
When put that way, it sounds rather like magic, doesn't it
I thought this was perfect and if you happen to be a writer reading this book, couldn't you just relate to the idea of creating a gateway for someone? Isn't that what we are all trying to do?
Here's one last quote i loved -
Someone needs to tell those tales...there's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift...there are many kinds of magic, after all.
Okay, that's my last quote. If you love fantasy, you will want to pick up this book. Pick up your copy at Amazon.com by clicking this link or Barnes and Noble by clicking this link.
Disclaimer: I included Amazon Affiliate links in this post.