Step right up to Le Cirque des Rêves, a mysterious black-and-white circus that arrives without warning and opens its gates only from sunset to sunrise. It’s an enchanting place, to be sure, but its magic is fueled by old rivalries and dark secrets.
Traveling from Victorian London to Paris, New York, and Boston, this is the story of two rival magicians bent on mutual destruction and willing to use anything or anyone — including the innocent children under their protection — to win their fiendish game.
It’s also a tale of sweeping romance and reason-defying love and loyalty and adventure and magic. The real kind. The kind that creates a garden made of ice, a maze of clouds, and a wishing tree where your fondest desire can be written on a candle then conjured into reality.
The circus is rendered so vividly, you’ll smell the ‘aroma of mulled wine and sugared candy, peppermint, and pipe smoke’ and feel the heat of the bonfire at the circus entrance, flames that are not ‘yellow or orange, but white as snow as they dance.’ And you’ll meet the circus folks: the red-headed twins Poppet and Widget; Tsukiko, the amazing contortionist; Madame Ana Padva, costume designer and retired prima ballerina; the mysterious man in the grey suit, and more striking characters drawn to the circus.
But at the heart of the story are two remarkable illusionists and one ordinary (extraordinary) boy, all thrust into an adventure that’s grander than anything they could have imagined — with stakes higher than anyone would like.
He had expected it to be a show. Something to sit in a chair and watch. He realized quickly how wrong he was… He did not know what tents to choose out of dozens of options, each with tantalizing signs hinting at the contents. And every turn he took through the twisting striped pathways led to more tents, more signs, more mysteries. He found a tent full of acrobats and stayed amongst them as they twirled and spun until his neck ached from staring up. He wandered through a tent full of mirrors and saw hundreds and thousands of Baileys staring, wide-eyed, back at him… Even the food was amazing. Apples dipped in caramel so dark they appeared almost blackened but remained light and crisp and sweet. Chocolate bats with impossibly delicate wings. The most delicious cider Bailey had ever tasted. Everything was magical. And it seemed to go on forever. — Erin Morgenstern
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