Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus is a groundbreaking fantasy novel that explores multiple perspectives.
Following a nonlinear narrative, the book is a great read if you fancy something a little experimental.
It tells the story of a magical fairytale circus that appears without any warning. It’s only open during the nighttime.
Known as the Le Cirque des Rêves, this astonishing circus promises to provide a breathtaking experience.
However, this circus has a dark secret that’s kept behind the scenes. The circus is home to a passionate competition between two magicians named Marco and Celia.
Trained since childhood, these two young magicians have been guided to duel by their strict instructors.
Neither Marco nor Celia is aware that this deadly duel can leave only one of them standing.
Tragically, Celia and Marco soon fall in love among this fantastical circus backdrop. But sadly, this passionate love threatens to endanger everyone involved.
If you are a fan of fantasy novels with high stakes, The Night Circus is a fantastic read! It’s packed with engaging images that are sure to inspire your imagination.
If you enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, then you will absolutely adore books like A Crown of Wishes, The Paper Magician, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, and The Hazel Wood. Discover our 5 fabulous recommendations.
Themes In The Night Circus
The Night Circus is a compelling read because it covers loads of entrancing themes, such as:
Celia and Marco are intended to be rivals. Yet, these two characters end up falling in love.
There is a rebellious element to their relationship, as both characters have been trained to be furious rivals.
This relationship is powerful and consumes both characters. They are happy to sacrifice everything in the name of their love.
Yet, it takes time for them to develop this strong relationship. Celia and Marco have trouble trusting one another and allowing themselves to be vulnerable.
This deep relationship is perhaps the central theme of the book.
Prospero the Enchanter and Alexander have been rivals for a long time. These magicians pass this rivalry down to their younger pupils, namely Celia and Marco.
Despite having been positioned as rivals, Marco and Celia become lovers.
The rivalry between Alexander and Prospero the Enchanter has become toxic and unhealthy to the extent that it impacts future generations.
Magic is perhaps the main theme of the novel. The book explores the different relationships and fractions that people have toward magic.
Le Cirque des Rêves offer genuine magic, which can impress, amaze, and frighten different people.
Magic gives the members of the circus more control over reality, as they can create illusions that immerse the spectators.
Celia and Marco are fated to be rivals. Crafted by their tutors, this rivalry has informed and defined the entire life of these magicians.
Yet, Celia and Marco break away from this rivalry, allowing them to become free from this fate.
Instead of being controlled by destiny, these marvelous magicians take control of it themselves.
If you are a fan of chosen family novels, The Night Circus is bound to be a hit.
Many of these characters do not have traditional families. Often, they have been separated from their birth families.
Yet, they have formed a found family among the members of the circus. Shunned by the rest of the world, the circus performers have found acceptance among one another.
Books Like The Night Circus
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is an incredibly popular book that mashes different genres. Susanna Clarke’s debut novel is a book that merges fantasy with alternative history.
Set in an alternative version of England during the Napoleonic World, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell follows the story of the titular Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell.
Magic was once prominent in England, but it has since disappeared. That is until it returns to these two characters.
The brilliant book focuses on the dynamic relationship between Norell and Strange. These two characters are seemingly opposites.
They have conflicting ideas about what English magic should be like. However, their pursuit of magic poses a threat to the entirety of England.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell is a witty book that is perfect for people who love pairing fantasy with humor. It’s also ideal for people with an interest in history.
Packed with magic and romance, this book explores similar themes to The Night Circus.
- Clarke’s writing is sharp and witty.
- If you enjoyed the relationship between Marco and Celia, the enjoyable relationship between Strange and Norrell is bound to be a hit.
- It has an old-fashioned style that perfectly fits the narrative. This style is akin to Charles Dickens.
- The book is a bit slow at times.
Themes: Magic, History, Gender, Civilization vs The Wild, Englishness.
The second book in The Star-Touched Queen series is A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi.
If you had a fun time reading The Night Circus, you will probably appreciate this book. It also focuses on competing enemies who end up teaming up.
In this sequel, Princess Gauri has been captured by the enemies of her kingdom.
With little chance of escape, Gatruri has but one option. Namely, she must team up with Vikram, the prince of a rival kingdom.
These unlikely allies work together to compete in a magical competition.
However, Gauri and Vikram soon discover that this competition is much more dangerous than it initially seems.
If you liked the initial rivalry between Celia and Marco, you can’t go wrong with A Crown of Wishes.
We recommend reading this book if you enjoy a beautiful writing style paired with fledged-out characters (see also “Books Like Alice By Christina Henry“).
- The relationship between Gauri and Vikram is comparable to that of Celia and Marko.
- Chokshi creates fantastic fairy tale writing.
- The writing is of exceptional quality.
- The narrative’s competition can be a little nonsensical, as there are very few rules that guide this competition.
Themes: Magic, Rivalry, Conflict, Competition.
Launching the wonderful The Paper Magician series, this brilliant book centers around Ceony Twill.
Ceony attends the fabulous cottage belonging to a powerful magician named Emery Thane.
An impressive academic, Ceony has been selected to be a paper magician, even though this is not her field of choice.
Despite this, Ceony soon discovers that paper magic is much more impressive than it initially seems.
However, Twill soon has to face a dark magician known as an Excisioner when her tutor is endangered.
The Paper Magician is an extraordinary book if you fancy a dark fantasy novel. This dark magical vibe is amazing if you are a fan of The Night Circus.
- Charlie N. Holmberg has a unique adaptation of magic.
- It is beloved by young adults.
- The student/teacher relationship between Ceony and Emery is enjoyable.
- Ceony can be a rather infuriating character, who is either extremely component or useless in different situations.
Themes: Magic, Dark Magic, Academia, Students and Teachers.
If you find it hard to put down mystery books, then The Ten Thousand Doors of January will be right up your alley.
Alix E. Harrow crafts a narrative that’s set in an ominous mansion in the 1900s.
Upon finding a mysterious book, January Scaller finds out about other worlds and love.
As January delves further into the book, she discovers that the book is surprisingly similar to her own life.
The book’s mixture of love and magic is remarkably akin to The Night Circus.
- Gothic vibes are exquisite for magic fans.
- There’s tons of vivid imagery.
- The book is slightly predictable.
Themes: Magic, Love, Adventure.
Last but not least, Melissa Albert’s bestselling book The Hazel Wood is extraordinary for enthusiasts of The Night Circus.
This page-turning book has taken the world by storm for good reason.
Young Alice has been pursued by bad luck her entire life. When her reclusive grandmother passes away in her home, Hazel Wood, Alice discovers the true meaning of bad luck.
Her mother is taken away by a crazed fan of her grandmother. This fan says that he originates from Hinterland, the fictional world created by Alice’s grandmother.
To find her mother, Alice unites with a Hinterland fan named Ellery Finch. During her journey, Alice finds out where her misfortune originated from.
- The book has been flawlessly influenced by fairytales.
- Young adults will adore The Night Circus.
- It’s really easy to get into this book.
- Though the first half of the book is excellent, the ending is a little disappointing.
Themes: Misfortune, Reality vs Fantasy, Unlikely Allies, Rivalry.
If you’ve recently finished The Night Circus and are wondering what to read next, these five fantastic books are sure to be a delight.
So why not dive into one of these page-turning narratives?!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Night Circus Appropriate For 13-Year-Olds?
Yes! This book is considered suitable for anyone over the age of 12, so thirteen-year-olds should be fine.
Is The Night Circus Suggestive?
Despite being packed with romance, The Night Circus is not suggestive.