The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Everyone seems to love this book, and it did make its way to my 5* predictions list. Although it didn’t quite deliver up to that, I still very much enjoyed it.
The atmosphere and setting in this book are just soooooo good. The writing is beautiful and you immediately get sucked into the intriguing world of the circus of dreams. It is truly a magical place, and I would love to visit it someday.
So why no 5 stars? First of all, the many many time jumps. The story is all over the place, jmping back and forth with every chapter (of which there are 75). And the perspective changes along with those jumps, giving us 15 or so ‘main’ characters. It all just hurt my brain a bit. However, I can imagine this is great on a second read where you know where we are heading and can appreciate the intricate plot more.
My second complaint: the romance. I knew I was in for a love story (it clearly states so on the back), and those just really aren’t my thing. And no, this one wasn’t too bad… apart from the way the guy treats his ‘current’ girlfriend while (trying to) gets it on with the main girl. I mean, it takes him years to tell her he is seeing someone else. He cheats in front of her, but because he can do magic he can make her forget it. We know he and the other girl are destined for each other, but I just felt sorry for the girlfriend and really disliked the guy. Which kinda ruined the plot for me.
Overall, I did enjoy this book quite a bit though. It was a magical journey I am very glad I went on and I get the hype around this book. It is beautiful both inside and out, and made for a surprisingly quick read.