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Before I go to much into this book I want to explore the reason why I picked it up in the first place as I don’t think I would typically pick it up if I were just browsing books.

Most Novembers since 2007 I have participated in NaNoWriMo, and as some of you may already know, it is a writing challenge in which you take the 30 days of November and write a 50,000 word novel. In all the years that I have done it, I have failed once to reach the target, and that was in my first year of university. 2008 and last year were the two years I haven’t participated, last year I just wanted to knit November away.

This book – “The Night Circus” was the authors attempt at a NaNo, and I really wanted to see what she created. Obviously, the final version of the book would be like nothing she would have written on the first draft, but it still proves that success can come from this yearly writing challenge.

Paraphrasing the blurb on the back, it tells of a Circus that travels around the world, only open at night time. It goes on to mention that behind the scenes of this Circus there is a duel between two magicians, trained since they were young to compete in a challenge to the death. A duel that was initiated by their instructors. It sounds like something that I would enjoy immensely. Magic, learning, duelling the whole shebang. Of course, mandatory love story in a Romeo/Juliet style – forbidden love story and all that – which I am not so fond of but it rampant in most books that I pick up it would seem.  Seriously, most of the books I pick up have it.

I enjoyed the atmosphere of this book. The whole idea of the night circus, the fantastical creations that appear, the tents, even the black and white-ness of it all. I liked the following that the circus created, and the people and characters that followed it – although only a glimpse of these were revealed towards the end of the novel. I liked the sort of magic that was involved, even though it wasn’t really talked about in much depth about why and how it existed. I preferred Bailey and Poppet’s  developing romance of the two central characters.

I am not going to talk at great length about this book as I know others on my share list want to read it, and I hope that they enjoy it. The only thing that I will say [aside from not really fulfilling the plot as summarised in the blurb] I felt that this book was missing something. I couldn’t tell you what, but I felt it was missing something.

Keep on reading!

Kialtho

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