Publishing Info: September 13, 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 20, 2012
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.
This book is actually really hard to review for me. It took place over such a large expanse of time and I was introduced to so many characters that I’m not really sure what exactly to say about it! I guess if the author wanted to leave the readers mistified, consider it done! I’m kind of in a circus haze and I was in awe of the magical elements of the story and I feel left just a little confused.
The Circus: I simply adored the circus. It was delightful, it was enchanting, it was mysterious and I wish I could have really experienced it. The circus is a place that appeals to all of the senses: seeing the tents, feeling the atmosphere, smelling the gentle perfumes and food wafting through the air – I really wish I could have actually been there! But I did my best to imagine it. Overall, I think I was more interested in the circus itself than the stories of the actual characters!
The Celia & Marco story: I didn’t really fall into the romance side of their story until towards the end of the book. Maybe it was hard to see them together when they were bound from the beginning, but only to remain as opponants. I really did like Celia quite a bit though! I think I didn’t really see chemistry with Marco.
The Poppet, Widget & Bailey story: I actually found this story much more enjoyable than the main one of Celia and Marco. Maybe because we start with Poppet & Widget as children and then see how they grow into adolescents – but then again, we also do that with Celia and Marco. Hmm. I think I just liked this story a lot more. It was simpler. It was less dramatic. It introduced non-magic to magic. And it seemed to have a real future.
First off, I LOVE Jim Dale. I had no idea he was the narrator until I started played the CD and gasped! I was told he also narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks? In which case, I might need to pick those up! Also, he was the narrator in Pushing Daisies.
I actually can’t say anything bad about the audio narration except for maybe that his voice didn’t work quite work for young female… But that’s to be expected!
Celia: I really liked Celia’s character! Even as a tiny 6-year-old, she always seemed like a confident and strong person. I loved how the magic was in her and it was a part of who she was. I was truly impressed by her maturity as well and I kind of feel like that carried part of the tone of the book as well.
Marco: I didn’t really have strong feelings for Marco any which way. He was okay. He had a serious place in the story, but overall I felt like his character took a backseat to Celia as far as magic goes and being Chandresh’s assistant, he didn’t seem to be a strong personality or stand up for himself. I felt like he was kind of a wimp 🙁
Poppet/Widget: I adored the Murray twins! I loved their personalities, their talents, and I really enjoyed the story line that followed them.
Bailey: I loved that Bailey was a non-magic person who seemed to end up belonging in the circus.
Quotes taken from Goodreads.com — I couldn’t note page numbers since it was an audiobook.
“People don’t pay much attention to anything unless you give them reason to.”
“I couldn’t tell the difference between what was real and what I wanted to be real.”
This book really was magical! There were a couple slow spots but the audio was really great and I just loved imagining this world in all of its glory.