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.
This book was actually quite slow to start. However, I soon realised that this pace actually suited the story as it does seem to run at its own tempo. This could be an issue if you tried to rush the narrative by reading it in one sitting. Although, as this book is told in short chapters (giving little tastes of the Circus and its atmosphere) this soon enchants and entices you into the magical world that the author has created. Nevertheless, I did feel that some additional grounding was required in order to establish the time period in which it was set, as this was not always obvious.
The book felt very original, fresh and full of imagination. The slow romanticism within the book did not bother me, as it crept up on me rather than being too full in the face.
The mix bag of characters are either vaguely written or have a leading role which actually helps to bring them all together. Especially as the main characters are not always the ones that you always follow through the story. Instead, the circus is the main character for me - giving all of the other characters life and meaning which made it the star of the show.
From the very start I never knew where this story was going to take me - it left me guessing most of the time. Unfortunately, the ending did not live up to the fairytale start, but it has made for an exciting new beginning to a future story.
This is a great older read that will leave a lasting impression until the next adventure is published. Whilst it is a super read; the hype surrounding this book did suggest more.