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 Reves," 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 per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
I really don't know why I waited so long to read this; I've heard so many amazing things about this and I've always wanted to pick it up. It was a truly awe-inspiring story, full of magic and skilful enchanters and secretive competitions. It told of Celia and Marco, just children when they were chosen to take part in a test of skill and creativity that would last a life time. It was both magical and historical, set over many years during the turn of the century as we watch Celia and Marco grow up and develop their own illusion skill set to battle it out in the circus.
The circus itself was so incredible, I have no words! It moved across the world, collecting loyal visitors and astounding the public with tricks of the mind. It was fantastical and whimsical in the best way, but the actual amazing part was that there were no tricks, it was all held together by Celia and Marco's will alone and each magical tent was a demonstration of their imagination.
Speaking of Celia and Marco, seeing them grow up alongside each other without knowing their competitor was very interesting; the whole competition was cruel, yes, as the rules were flaky to say the least and would only end with one of them dead, but what they created in the circus was beyond them. As we see, over the years, the circus becomes a home, not just for the travellers but for the visitors, a place of wonder that anyone can enjoy and will welcome you.
This story is one that will stay with me and has definitely become one of my all time favourites. A simple love story entangled and complicated by this egotistical competition, where magic exists and is a power to be reckoned with. A truly enchanting read that comes with the highest of recommendations from this blogger.
Published 24th May 2012 by Vintage Books.