(Nominated for the 2011 Guardian First Book Award) "The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices ... no mentions or advertisements.... It simply is there, when yesterday it was not." So begins Erin Morgenstern's stunning debut novel, evoking "Something Wicked This Way Comes lightened up by Harry Potter," (Library Journal), "a gorgeously imagined fable poised in the high latitudes of Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde, with a few degrees toward Hesse's Steppenwolf for dangerous spice" (Katherine Dunn). In this circus are two magicians who have been trained from childhood to compete, in a contest that will leave only one of them standing—though they don't know this. How then will their mysterious masters react when Celia and Marco instead tumble headfirst into love?
"The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book."—Audrey Niffenegger
"To enter the black-and-white-striped tents of Le Cirque des Rêves is to enter a world where objects really do turn into birds and people really do disappear.... Debut novelist Morgenstern has written a 19th-century flight of fancy that is, nevertheless, completely believable. The smells, textures, sounds, and sights are almost palpable. A literary Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, this read is completely magical."—Library Journal (starred review)
"'Dark as soot and bright as sparks,' The Night Circus still holds me willingly captive in a world of almost unbearable beauty. This is a love story on a grand scale: it creates, it destroys, it ultimately transcends. Take a bow, Erin Morgenstern. This is one of the best books I have ever read."—Brunonia Barry