The Night Circus is full of magic and love, mostly in that order. For a generation that grew up with Harry Potter it is a welcome glimpse into an equally rich but much more mature magical world. The two protagonists are forced into a cruel life of imprisonment, bound by an enchantment (of course) and forced to duel each other and create beautiful additions to a circus they both build and run. However, as fate would have it, these two competitors are too well matched and as they compete they each begin to fall in love with the very person they are trying to destroy. What follows is a story that challenges the reader to suspend disbelief as they watch these two young magicians discover the truth and try to overcome the devastating situation they find themselves in. Morgenstern created an intricate and elaborate setting, which I enjoyed but some may argue borders on overly descriptive. Most of the characters are complex and intriguing but some of the momentum is lost in the plot, which could have been more thought out, and much less complicated.
(Disclaimer: you’ll need to be willing to believe in magic, and the power of love, but only for about 400 pages.)