Goodreads Synopsis: In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story.
The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway–a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
I’ve written about it in a few different posts, but just to recap: I bought it on my Kindle back on November 20 (fun fact: that’s my birthday, I had just gotten an Amazon Kindle gift card. hehe), but I had it in my Amazon wish list for a few months before that. I’m not sure what took me so long to buy it, and then again what took me so long to finally read it once I bought it. So I think I have the Mount TBR Challenge to thank for finally picking it up!
Onward to my review —->
I absolutely LOVED this book! It took me a bit longer to read than anticipated due to starting a new job this week, but I ended up staying up until 1 this morning to finish it. Toward the end I was getting a little confused as to the timeline because it moves back and forth to see the same time points from different character points of view, but I think that was more to do with the fact that it was after midnight than because of the writing (I figured it out, though!)
Anyway, I thought it was well written and had really great, vivid descriptions. I read some other reviews, and I think it had been on Goodreads where I found one that complained about the extent of the description. When I saw that, I got a bit nervous because too much description can really turn me off, but I thought no such thing at any point in the novel.
It is such a unique and new concept for a story line (to me, at least) and I thought it was so interesting. The characters were all great and you can really grow to like/dislike/pity/etc. them.
There was one particular chapter that I actually really loved and it was about the Rêveurs (“Dreamers” in French). The actual name of the circus is Le Cirque des Rêves (Circus of Dreams), so the rêveurs are the “followers” of the Circus. I think this was one of the best chapters because it steps away from the circus itself and shows how it has affected people all over the world. It shows how these people are connected and how they create more than just a “fan club” for the circus. It gives them a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. I thought there were some beautifully written passages about them:
“They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts. Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent.” (p 143, Kindle edition)
“They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. … When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.” (p. 143, Kindle edition)
This was just such a wonderful story with so many vibrant characters, I strongly urge everyone to read this!