Even as a child I was never a great fan of the Circus so I held off reading this book for that reason. How wrong I was!
The Night Circus is a very entertaining read & cost me a right few hours sleep this week - always a good sign of a book IMO. The action in this book revolves around Le Cirque de Rêves, a travelling circus unlike any circus before or since. Arriving without fanfare, opening only from dusk to dawn & departing equally abruptly it moves between the major cities of the world at the end of the 1890s beginning of 1900s. Illusion, magic, fortune telling and usurption & bending of the laws of nature are the hallmarks of the performers of Le Cirque de Rêves but also amongst this community are two people whose purpose is to play out "a challenge". This challenge is a competition designed by two formidable and enigmatic magicians, Prospero The Enchanter and Mr A H (nobody seems able to remember his full name!)
Over the course of the book a love affair developes and the lovers find themselves in a quandry as their love clashes with the demands and the obligations of "the challenge".
I enjoyed this book a lot although I was somewhat disappointed in the ending. IMO the book lost momentum and to some extent petered out towards the end which was a great pity. However I enjoyed it a lot and, unlike some posters, I especially liked the way the book moved time lines - which I felt fitted in well with the shifting and illusory aspect of the circus itself - at times I really felt like a patron of Le Cirque de Rêves probably would feel.